I want to use this mid-week post to talk about the importance of taking care of yourself while working from home and provide you with simple tips to make sure you maintain balance and create separation.
I've exhausted myself this week. Yes, it's only Wednesday, and I'm totally out of energy. I've been working on some updates for my business and managing several projects at work. So my nights have been a little longer than usual, and my days run into my nights without pause. This goes against everything I believe in. I am the enforcer of chopping up the day to allow for moments to take breaks, eat food, get fresh air or collect your thoughts. Today, I feel like I've been hit with a bag of heavy pillows. I slept okay, but I know I'm tired. It's my fault. Sometimes I get in the zone, and I don't want to be disturbed or interrupted, and I will just keep going. Thankfully, heaven and my body will remind me that I've done too much and we need a break. The goal for today is to remind me and hopefully deter you from pushing yourself to the limits. Let's jump into my happy 3 bulleted lists.
Remember to focus on what you planned - It is so easy to attack the day and every little thing that pops up, even if you didn't plan to deal with those things. I'm not a big fan of doing that because it robs efforts and energy from planned tasks and activities. That doesn't mean that there won't be emergencies that pop up in the day, handle them as appropriate. But when other tasks reveal themselves, or you are presented with additional items for your day, you'll have to choose. For me, it's remembering to honor what is on my calendar. This way, if items are not part of my prioritized schedule, the decision around the next steps is mine alone. I don't want to allow "things" to determine how I manage my time.
Space matters - If you are working from home, where and how you do this is important. That doesn't mean that everyone WFH needs to do it in an office. Specifically, a room with a door. I know that an office isn't something everyone has. However, you need to have a defined space that belongs to you for a set time during the day. Why? Because defining it makes it real and official. I've mentioned this in other blogs, but I will mention it again. If you work at the kitchen counter or breakfast table, that is great. But when your workday is over, pack up your work essentials and return the space to its intended purpose. You may think this is too much of a hassle, but the peace of mind it brings to you and the peace to your personal space is invaluable. Besides, if you were still working in the office, you wouldn't leave your laptop in a conference room at the end of the day. You'd pack it up. Don' treat your home with any less respect.
Superheroes have secret identities for a reason - Yes, I love being the go-getter, boss mom, super employee doing it all and looking good while doing it. But I also need to sleep and eat. I need to be normal and not so super. The stigmas we place on each other, especially within our social media-driven world, are impossible to maintain. Most of your favorite Supers have an alternate identity; to protect themselves from the fandom and pressure of always being "on" and so they can enjoy the human experience. That's it! Taking off the costume allows them space to normal and human. Here is the key, taking off the costume, removing the cape doesn't negate that they are Super. It just means the workday is over.
I can not express how important balance is in your workday, especially if you work from home. Make space for yourself to take breaks and preserve your physical and mental health. And if you can, focus on your prioritized schedule. If you can take more into your day, it should be determined by your commitments and not by your emotions. Honor the time you've created for yourself. By all means, rest. You'll need all that energy when you put your cape back on.
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These are absolutely my thoughts...