There are countless articles online which sing the praises of working from home. And, it seems they’re onto something, with one in five Americans now doing just that. The benefits of a lifestyle choice like this speak for themselves.
But, it would be naive to assume this career choice is all plain sailing. It’s not. Working from home has pitfalls, just like any other career. And, while some of us can overcome them, others may be unable. Major downsides include loneliness and, what we’re going to talk about here, stress.
You may be wondering how working from home can be stressful. Don’t most people opt for this career choice to get away from stress? Yes, they do, but it doesn’t always work. While you do eliminate the stress of a workplace, freelancing like this has a whole new set of stressors to cope with. These include increased work pressures (it’s only you now), and the inability to switch off. After all, escaping from the workplace also means kissing goodbye to 9-5. Instead, you may find that you never entirely switch off.
The good news is that there’s plenty you can do to keep the stress at bay. And, we’re going to look at a few of your options here.
Take care of admin in the morning
Admin can be a considerable source of stress. When you work in an office, the HR department take care of all that. But, when you’re going it alone, it falls to you. Worse, you don’t make any money from that part of the job. Answering emails and filing invoices is time you’d rather spend actually working. Hence, it can be difficult to fit in when you’re experiencing a busy period.
To remove the pressure, it’s worth doing admin before you get started each day. That way, you can work without interruption the rest of the time. You could look through emails and such while you’re eating breakfast. Or, you might want to dedicate your first hour to the job. Whatever you choose, getting it out of the way is your best bet.
A plan to avoid the last minute rush of deadlines
Planning is essential in every aspect of working from home. But, never does it help you more than when you’re working to a deadline. You’ll find that your stress levels soon rocket if you leave everything until the last minute each time. Then, you’ll be facing sleepless nights, and rushed work.
To avoid that happening, it’s important to have a decent plan in place for each piece of work you accept. As a rule, attempt to have everything finished a week before it’s due. That way, you have plenty of time to tweak things if you need to. To ensure this is doable, plan first how long you think a job will take you. Then, separate the task into hour-long chunks over a set period. Just like that, you’ll have things done in no time at all.
Get out of the house
Another cause of stress is the feeling of going stir crazy. If you haven’t left the house in a few days, your stress levels are sure to skyrocket. Worse, you may fail to recognize the cause. To stop this happening, make sure to get out of the house at least once a day. Even if you just walk round the block, the fresh air and new perspective will work wonders.
Create spaces in which to unwind
Many of those who work from home experience stress because they fail to switch off. And, it’s easy to see why. When you’re staying in the same place, you may as well carry on, right? Wrong. In fact, if you work without unwinding, you’ll soon experience severe stress. Everyone needs to kick back for at least a few hours of an evening. To ensure you get into the habit, set aside spaces which are work-free zones. Your bathroom is an obvious one, so take advantage of that. You won’t need to put the effort in to make it work free. It already will be. And, if you take time to shop for a new bathtub online, and invest in some pamper products, it can become the ideal place to unwind.
The living room can become another work-free zone if you go about things the right way. Nothing beats watching television with the rest of your family. Just make sure you never fall into the mistake of bringing your laptop down while you do so!