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How to tackle overwhelm while working from home

work from home desk set up with laptop

Picture the scene: You have just finished a long work call and your phone buzzes with notifications. Your inbox is flooded with emails, and your kids ask for homework help. You feel like you are drowning.

If this sounds like a typical day then know you are not alone.

Running your own business or working remotely can be overwhelming at times and it can stem from a variety of factors, including:

1 Blurred boundaries: The lack of physical separation between work and home life can make it difficult to “switch off” from work, leading to longer hours and increased stress.

2 Isolation: Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, as there are fewer opportunities for social interaction with colleagues.

3 Distractions: Household chores, family members, pets, and personal devices can easily disrupt focus and productivity.

4 Lack of structure: Without a structured office environment, it can be challenging to establish a routine and maintain motivation.

5 Increased workload: With the blurring of boundaries, some individuals may feel pressure to work longer hours or take on additional tasks leading to burnout.

6 Technical difficulties: Issues with internet connectivity, software malfunctions, or hardware problems can cause frustration and hinder productivity.

7 Lack of support: Remote workers may feel disconnected from their team or management, leading to a lack of support and guidance.

8 External stressors: Personal or family issues, global events, or financial concerns can exacerbate feelings of overwhelm when working from home.

9 Overthinking and perfectionism: The pressure to prove productivity while working remotely can lead to overthinking, procrastination, and striving for unrealistic levels of perfection.

By understanding what is causing you to be overwhelmed, you can start taking the necessary steps to address them and create a healthier and more productive work-from-home environment.

So how do you begin?

Step one: Establish a routine:

Establishing a work-from-home routine can be challenging but it is important for your well-being and productivity. Once you have a clear routine you will begin to see huge improvements in your work-life and personal life.

A planner can be ideal for this because you can record several things in your planner to overcome that feeling of overwhelm. These include:

  • Your work start time

  • Your work end time

  • Your morning routine

  • Your end-of-day routine

  • Any breaks throughout the day

  • Lunchtime breaks

  • Meal planning and many more that suit your preferences.

Having a structured planner can be valuable when you have been feeling overwhelmed.

The ultimate productivity planner bundle

Step two: Designate a workspace:

Knowing where you are going to work from is equally important. You want a workspace that is free from distractions. Avoid working from your bed or the couch as this can blur the lines between work and relaxation.

Step Three: Set boundaries:

Communicate your work hours to your family and let them know when you are not to be disturbed. If it is children demanding attention, let them know that when you are finished, they will have all your time. Otherwise, seek help from friends and family. It is also a good idea to turn of notifications on personal devices during work hours.

Step four: Create to-do lists:

To-do lists are a great way to get anything that needs doing out of your head and onto paper. Once you have your list written down, you can allocate time slots for each one. Put them in order of importance so that you don’t miss any urgent tasks.

Step five: Connect with colleagues:

Feeling isolated can make the overwhelm worse at times, so it is important to connect with others who work from home. Schedule some virtual coffee breaks, online networking events, or team meetings to maintain social interaction and combat those feelings of loneliness.

Step six:  Set realistic expectations:

Don’t try to do everything at once. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge your accomplishments.

Step seven: Practice self-care:

Make time for activities that you enjoy outside of work, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones.

Step eight: Seek support:

If feelings of being overwhelmed persist, talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or manager. They can offer valuable support and guidance.

 In conclusion, tackling overwhelm while working from home is an ongoing journey that requires consistent effort and self-awareness. By implementing these strategies - establishing a routine, designating a workspace, setting boundaries, creating to-do lists, connecting with colleagues, setting realistic expectations, practicing self-care, and seeking support - you can transform your work-from-home experience into a more fulfilling and productive one. Remember, it's about finding what works best for you and adjusting your approach as needed. Embrace the flexibility and autonomy of remote work while prioritizing your well-being. With dedication and the right tools, you can thrive in your home office and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

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