Ways to Fight the Loneliness and Boredom of Working From Home
There are loads of advantages to working from home: you’re on your own schedule, you can be in your pyjamas all day, and you don’t have the boss’s glare fixed on the back of your neck like a red sniper’s dot. After working from home for quite a while, however, things can get a bit dodgy. There isn’t much of a reason to leave your bed, and the day can seem to never quite start. Even blasting your favourite music can fail to drown out the silence of your isolation. You may even yearn for that imbecilic water-cooler talk.
It takes will and discipline to keep yourself in shape and on task, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the process. It’s up to you to make your work life both productive and enjoyable.
Here are 5 ways to start battling the boredom:
1. Start The Day With Exercise
Some stretching and brisk walking or jogging first thing in the morning really gets your blood circulating. Don’t go far, just enough to challenge yourself a little.
It’s a good time to gather your thoughts before you embark on the day’s business, and while you’re out there you may have some brilliant ideas. For example, the way to achieve something you want, that you just couldn’t think of before, may come to you out of the blue.
2. Meditate for Five Minutes
After your walk or run, sit quietly in a calm place and do nothing but breathe. Listen to your breath. Feel your invigorated systems working, and be still for five minutes—neither more nor less. Don’t worry about thoughts, just observe them and let them go.
If you have trouble meditating on your own, there are hundreds of guided meditation apps out there, loaded with meditations of any length, and for any purpose.
Do these two things every day, before you ever reach for your phone or computer. The whole affair doesn’t have to take more than 15 minutes. You’ll be more focused, less anxious, and more spontaneous throughout the day. Your work and your health will benefit. You may even find yourself smoking and drinking less and eating better. Your body and mind will simply want to be healthier.
3. Work at Different Locations
Following the same routine every day is essential for some people, but for some of us it’s absolutely soul-deadening. After all, isn’t variety and flexibility the reason we wanted to work from home in the first place?
While it’s very important to be your own taskmaster when you work from home, it’s just as important for some of us to switch up the scenery. Work in a coffee shop one day, a library the next, and a museum the third. Many public parks now have WiFi, too.
4. Work Different Hours Each Day
Factor into your schedule activities that make your life worth living. If you want to go to a daytime show, or go for an epic walk, or picnic with a friend, do it. If you want to drop in on your boyfriend or girlfriend for an afternoon coffee, definitely go for it. Just make sure you get your work done in the evening or the night before.
Living this way takes a bit of advance scheduling and discipline, but it is well worth the effort if it means you will have a balanced, fulfilling lifestyle.
5. Make Work Dates With Friends
Make sure to choose friends who don’t annoy or distract you. Not everyone is suited for this kind of activity. Choose people that work with your own natural rhythms. If you like to take frequent breaks while working and chat a lot, then work alongside someone who is the same. If you like focusing for long periods, and not having to exchange any banter, but want someone familiar there with you, then call on someone who works the same way.
Either way, rather than mindlessly surfing the web and exchanging text messages in your downtime, you will have a real-life companion there with you. And, unlike in an office setting, you get to choose who. It could be your best friend. If you do this, your workday will breeze right by.
When making work dates with friends, don’t forget to make sure you both have a comparable amount of work to do, this will help balance your energies and rhythms.
Most important: take care of yourself, and enjoy your freedom!