We all know someone who works from home. Actually a lot of us work from home ourselves, and those numbers are rising and will continue to do so. But there is a fallacy that working from home is sunshine and roses all the time. Truth be told, it’s not.
I will be the first to tell you that I love working from home. It perfectly suits where I am at in life, and gives me the flexibility to be able to both work, and be present at home. But there is a downside that is rarely talked about, but should be. Sometimes it’s lonely, and that loneliness can lead to unproductivity, and then you can get a Case of the Thursdays.
Most of us have probably heard the expression, “I have a case of the Mondays,” (if you’ve seen Office Space you know what I’m talking about). Recently however, I have come across a Case of the Thursdays and wanted to dive into what it’s all about.
A typical work week might start on a high-note by using Monday as a planning day. By the end of the day each Monday your week is dialed, priorities are set, and there is a clear picture of the week ahead. Tuesday rolls around and you hit the ground running…thanks to that plan you made the day before. Then before you know it you are at Wednesday (insert Hump Day joke, meme, commercial here!) then bam, Thursday hits you like a ton of bricks. Productivity has dropped, and self-doubt has crept in.
No matter how good your Monday planning is, most weeks never go exactly as we have mapped them out. By Thursday you see all the things that didn’t get done and the things that are blocked, it’s not quite the weekend yet, and you’ve been working by yourself for three full days. Bam…the Thursdays!
The best way I have found to counteract this is by practicing good remote working habits.
Get dressed and ready each morning like you are going to work.
When you look good, you feel good! Years ago when I had my first work from home experience a friend gave me a great piece of advise, and I still follow it to this day – put shoes on. If you don’t wear shoes in the house, get a pair just for that purpose. Personally, I have my pink Crocs that only get worn inside. Also, find a work from home look or style…another friend recently told me about buying “luxury lounge pants.” I didn’t even know that was a thing, but it sounds pretty perfect.
Take breaks, and definitely stop for lunch.
Working remote has a whole new set of issues when dealing with boundaries. No one can (or should) work all the time, so drawing a line in the sand will help. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day, then you realize you have been at your computer for way too many hours straight. Use strategies like Time Blocking and make sure to schedule in your down time. The Pomodoro Method is another great way to be productive and take needed breaks. The original method is a series of 25-minute work sessions separated by 5-minute breaks; then after four sets, you take a longer break.
Shut down at the end of your work day.
Easier said than done. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut where you feel like you are always working. Again, this comes back to setting boundaries, and that means shutting down for the day. Turn off Slack, close your email, and make a conscious effort to be done until the next day.
Get some fresh air, go for a walk, and engage with people.
Isolation is a real concern for remote workers. It’s important to make sure you are being intentional about engaging with people outside of your work environment. Make a standing lunch date with a friend who also works from home. Check out a meet-up on a topic related to your business, or a personal hobby or interest. Schedule a happy hour with your teammates that may live in your area. Or just plan a night out with friends. The key is to make sure you are prioritizing social time especially if you tend to be more of an introvert.
Having a healthy relationship with your work-from-home or remote job comes down to practicing good habits and a focus on self-care. And when that Case of the Thursdays comes over you, take a deep breath, look at everything you HAVE accomplished that week, and remind yourself that tomorrow is Friday!
What are some of your work-from-home tips and habits? Feel free to leave a comment below.