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Have you ever felt mentally exhausted after work and want to be left alone? Have you ever felt anxious dealing with situations that requires your full attention? We’ve all been there! Below are some recommendations for your work days when you are feeling stressed & burnt out.

Stress Reduction working from home

1. Create Structure in your Day

Without a structured workday, time can get away from you. You might find that you start shifting your workdays later and later as you sip an extra cup of coffee. Then, your work hours extend later into the evenings, which causes you to stay up later at night, as well.  Create rituals to establish a time to begin and end work and try to stick to it as much as you can.

2. Establish a Dedicated Workspace

You might be tempted to work in bed. But when you associate your bed with work, it can interfere with your sleep. And trouble sleeping will affect your performance the following day. Most sleep experts recommend reserving your bed for comfort only.

3. Work in Small Blocks of Time

Blocking out small amounts of time—and planning what you’ll do during that timeframe—can make big tasks feel more manageable.  You might find you have more motivation when telling yourself that you just need to complete one document in the next 30 minutes, rather than telling yourself that you have 50 documents to create by lunchtime.

4. Limit Your Distractions and Interruptions

You might find that you struggle to get back on task each time you’re interrupted. You can stay motivated by limiting the distractions and interruptions you experience. Place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door, and on your personal phone.


5. Practice the “10-Minute Rule”

It can be hard to convince yourself to get started on a task you really don’t want to do. Whether you know it’s going to be boring, frustrating, or just really challenging, convincing yourself to get started is tough.  One of the best ways to get moving on something you don’t want to do is by using the “10-minute rule.” Tell yourself that you only have to work on something for 10 minutes. Then, after the 10-minute mark, you can take a break if you want.

6. Reward Yourself

You might find you work best when you know there’s a little reward waiting for you. For example, tell yourself you can watch your favorite show if you get your work done by 6 p.m. Or tell yourself you can have a cup of your favorite tea as soon as you finish this report.  A little incentive can often go a long way toward helping you get work done efficiently.

7. Challenge Yourself

Sometimes, a little challenge can help get you moving, too. For example, you might try to write a certain amount of words in 30 minutes. Once you see how many words you write in 30 minutes, you might try beating that during the next 30-minute time slot.  You might also make some discoveries about yourself. Maybe you type faster when you’re sitting at the kitchen table, or perhaps you have better focus right after lunch. Learning these things about yourself might help you set up your day for success.

8. Experiment with Different Strategies

There are plenty of online tips about how to work well from home. But everyone is different. And what works for one person might not work well for another.  So, it’s important to experiment with different strategies to discover what works well for you. You might find you feel more motivated in the evenings, or you might have more energy after a morning workout.

9. Practice Regulating Your Emotions

Research shows we tend to put off tasks that stir up uncomfortable emotions. If you’re anxious about a medical appointment, you might not be motivated to call the doctor. Or, if you’re afraid your professional review will bring frustration, you might find yourself binge-watching Netflix instead of preparing.

In these cases, the lack of motivation stems from your desire to avoid discomfort. And when you’re working from home, there are always plenty of opportunities to engage in something more fun than the work you’re supposed to be doing.  So, consider what emotion(s) you’re trying to avoid feeling.  Remind yourself that you can handle feeling uncomfortable.  Additionally, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel when you get the project done, as opposed to how bad you’ll feel if you don’t do the work. This might remind you to take action regardless of whether you feel like it.

10. Practice Good Self-Care

You’ll never be at your best if you’re exhausted and running on caffeine and sugar only. But meeting your physical, social, and emotional needs these days is a bit more challenging than usual. Eating a healthy diet might not be as easy when you’re limiting your trips to the grocery store. And video chatting with friends isn’t the same as meeting in person. So, take a step back every once in a while, and ask yourself what else you can do to better take care of yourself. As your stress level increases, your self-care should increase right alongside it.