Staying Sane In Your Home Office

Working at home is great as it gives you the freedom and flexibility to suit your lifestyle. But not having the distinction an office provides may mean your professional life seeps into your personal. All work and no play will make you go crazy, so here’s our top tips for staying sane:

In the morning…

TIP #1 Routine

A regular morning routine will help your productivity (link to previous article) and has proven to benefit mental health. Start your day with exercise to feel energised and release stress-reducing chemicals, eat a healthy breakfast and get dressed so you’re in the right mindset the moment you step into your office.

TIP #2 Commute

Being stuck in traffic every morning can drive people crazy, but opting for a “fake commute” to your office may help you stay sane. Incorporating this ritual into your morning routine jump starts your day, separates work and home life and may even help you wind down at night for the ‘commute’ home. Try leaving your home, walking around the block and entering your office again to begin business hours.

TIP #3 Turn on the radio

Listening to breakfast radio and talk back shows will remind you that you’re not alone. Having a conversation in the background or live music will make sure your office doesn’t feel isolated from the outside world.

In the afternoon…

TIP #4 Try “Co-Working”

Renting a co-working space can let you work in an environment with other freelancers and small businesses. You get to focus on your personal tasks, while being able to interact and communicate with people in the office. Sites like Fishburners or Office-Hub allow you to book coworking spaces for a select period of time, while Rubberdesk lists all shared office spaces around Australia.                                                                    

TIP #5 Go On Field Trips

Inspiration is everywhere. Find somewhere to visit to inspire you and spark ideas that bring back to your home office. Plan a ‘field trip’ into your work week to break up the mundane.

TIP #6  Attend Events

Attending relevant events, seminars and expos can help you learn more about your small business and network with like-minded people. Try Meetup.com, Eventbrite and Doorkeeper to know when related events are on.

TIP #7 Make new friends online

Taking a break to make new friends online can help you slot in some time for social activity. Check out sites like Google for Entrepreneurs or Flying Solo which creates virtual startup communities for people to bounce ideas off one another, learn and work.

TIP #8 Host an event

Whether it is a cooking class for your friends to try out your new recipe and product or a product launch party, hosting events in your home are a great way to connect with family, friends and loyal customers, while also celebrating and acknowledging the success of your home business.

In the evening...

TIP #9 Blog

Keeping a blog will let you record potential business ideas but also journal your personal thoughts. It can keep you organised on a day-to-day business, jog your memory and provide  a constructive outlet of expression. You may even have a story that could create great content for your business’s website. Sites like Penzu, Day One and Medium are easy to use blogging platforms.

TIP #10 Reflect

Think about why you started working from home in the first place. Have you been able to spend more time with your children? Do you now avoid a lengthy commute? Reflecting on the positive influences your home office has given you will resonate in your mind and motivate you for the next day.

TIP #11 Unplug Entirely

Once business hours are done for the day, if you’ve spent the day on your laptop or phone, switch them off and recharge your own batteries for the next day.

Shaun Meltzer