Burnout is the real deal these days. Working from home is still a relatively new transition for many and the holiday season is quickly approaching. For many businesses going into the fall is always a ramp up. With the world still reeling and dealing with Covid19, work from home is here to stay through this hectic season. While many have made it through the adjustment period of transitioning to work from home, handling the busy season will take a little extra intentional care. At A&G we’ve always been a remote agency, so we’ve learned a thing or two about how to bring our best selves to our work and home life and how to keep a healthy balance between the two.
Have a morning ritual
While you may not have a commute any longer, meaning more time to sleep in, I suggest reverting back to the time you usually awoke to give your morning time to breathe. Instead of rushing out the door and driving, fill your morning with a routine that makes you feel energized and accomplished. This might mean a quick workout, meditation, journaling, preparing a specific breakfast and actually taking the time to eat it – or a combination of the above. Set one or two goals that make you feel centered and aim to accomplish them before opening your laptop or checking any emails.
Set work hours and stick to them
This might seem simple, but with 24/7 access to our work and the workload ramping up, it’s important to know when to call it a day. Make a calendar with all your upcoming major projects and break them down now, giving yourself ample time to meet any deadlines. Breaking big projects like “Black Friday Deals” and “Holiday Strategies” into cohesive smaller projects with tasks spread out weekly from now until December will make sure you stay on track without the big push looming over you. Even within your workday, list things in order of urgency and work through them that way. When the end of the workday hits, if a less urgent project is still on your to-do list, just push it to the top of your list tomorrow so you’re able to take some time to decompress and recharge for the next day.
Take an actual lunch break
It doesn’t have to be a full hour, but take at least a solid 30 minutes to walk away from your computer and enjoy your afternoon meal. Treat yourself to eating outside if it’s a nice day or enjoy an episode on Netflix. Give yourself permission to disengage for a short time in the middle of the day and you’ll find you’re actually more efficient in the latter part of the day, with your focus and clarity renewed.
Try to get outside as much as possible
When your home is your office and vice versa, getting outside is crucial to clear your mind. At the end of the workday going for a walk, running an errand, or even just popping out to grab a coffee will do wonders for your mental health. As the weather gets colder for most, it seems easier to want to stay inside, but giving yourself just 30 minutes of fresh air and a change of scenery will help break up your day in a rejuvenating way.
Have an evening ritual
Even with all these healthy boundaries set up, there will always be a night or two where you work well past 5:00 pm or at least still have work on your mind. Having an evening routine is helpful for slowing down your brain and setting yourself up for a great night’s rest. Set aside an hour before your typical bedtime to read, journal, sip some tea, do a skincare routine, stretch, shower etc – Anything that helps you wind down and focus on self-care. Put down the screens and get into a habit of practicing some good habits right before bed and you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to take on the next day.
Unplug on the weekends
Similar to having set work hours, make sure on your days off you are REALLY off. Unless there’s a work emergency, don’t check your emails. Whatever needs to be handled will still be there your next workday. With work from home it can be easy to think “Well if I just stretch out this project over the weekend it will be less to do next week..etc” but what ends up happening is you don’t take the mental break you need to rest and recoup. So while it may seem like it saves time, the energy you expend by not taking a break actually drains your mental clarity and efficiency more than if you stepped back and returned to the project later with fresh energy and motivation.
Also, not everything in life is about efficiency. You deserve rest, connection, and to be present in your life. At the end of the day remind yourself that the work will get done but your mental health and quality of life are more important since they stick with you outside of any 9 – 5. So let’s crush this busy season with our creativity, passion, and hard work – while also making taking care of ourselves a priority – because you can do both!