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Psychic Healer Rianne Collignon's blog: filled with articles about her work, her services and spiritual and holistic topics
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Dear people,

A lot more of us are working from home at the moment and I've heard a lot of people struggling with keeping a healthy routine. It's hard when all of a sudden things are so different in our daily lives and we are juggling many responsibilities. It's natural to feel overwhelmed and to struggle, especially as this situation is bound to continue for more weeks. So today I'm writing about some common pitfalls in working from home that are causing people to overwork.

The three main ways that people are overworking themselves when working from home are:
  1. Compensating for distractions by working longer
  2. Compensating for an unproductive day by working longer
  3. Working longer by forgetting to take breaks
Distractions when working from home
When we work from home a lot of people are annoyed about the many distractions that they have (children, private phone calls, spouses etc.) compared to working from the office. They imagine that they would have completed so much more work if only...

We tend to forget that when we work at the office, we do have distractions as well, just different distractions. Outside distractions like a colleague asking for help, having a little chat with a coworker or client, a question from your boss etc. Or inside distractions like quickly checking your private e-mail, making a small phone call or checking in on social media.

When working from home, many people feel guilty when they have to step away from work, but remember: distractions exist in both situations. You don't have to make up for your distractions by working more hours. If your colleagues do this and you get work mails after your normal work hours, let it sit for the next day if at all possible. Many people work too many hours, instead of not enough hours when working from home, even when it feels you 'hardly worked'.

Having an unproductive day
Sometimes things just don't get done. When we have an unproductive day at the office - this is where it stays. It might have been unproductive due to too much meetings, no focus, no inspiration or many other things. It sucks, we move on. Tomorrow is another day.

However when people work from home and they have an unproductive day - they tend to decide to work longer. They feel that for some reason they have to make it a productive day or compensate for not finishing a project. They often work a lot more hours and start the next day exhausted. There is no reason to compensate for an unproductive day when working from home, because we all have them. End your work day - tomorrow is another day.

Taking breaks
Working from the office there are many natural breaks due to the outside distractions, but also since most of us work in office where we have natural longer walks. The walks to the coffee machine, the toilet or the lunch room are much longer then at home. When you work from your own kitchen table or office, we tend to bring in all our stuff so we won't be distracted, but that also means we lose our natural walks.

It's paramount to take breaks when working from home even though it might feel very unnatural in the beginning. Nobody knows how much break time we usually have at the office, but taking 5-10 minutes every other hour is a good way to start taking breaks. If you feel better, keep them at this level, if you keep feeling unfocused/stressed, increase your breaks.

Creating a healthy routine

My rules for creating a healthy routine:
  1. Have a set start time and end time
  2. Take enough breaks - find your sweet spot
  3. If you don't compensate for it when working from the office - don't compensate for it when working from home
  4. Expect some things to move faster and more productive (less distractions) and others to move slower (no help from colleagues). 
  5. Make your work environment clean, nice and uplifting
It's vital that to keep rule 3 going strong. If your mom called you at work for 20 minutes, do you work 20 minutes longer? No? Don't do it at home if your kid needs you for 20 minutes. If you are 10 minutes late, do you work 10 minutes longer? No? Then ok, you missed your start time, but that can happen.

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