How to Stay Fresh When You Work from Home

By on May 2, 2016 in How To

There are definitely ups and downs to working from home. It can be a struggle to stay productive, creative, and just plain motivated. A lot of people turn to things like caffeine to keep their brain alert and their body going, and while we drink a fair amount of coffee and tea ourselves, it's not exactly the healthiest thing for your body.

Here's a few ways you can continue to stay fresh when you work from home.

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Change Locations

It's easy to feel stagnant and isolated when you work by yourself in the same room every day. Assuming you have a laptop you can move along with you, changing locations and scenery every so often can work wonders. This can mean simply changing rooms in your house to get a slightly different perspective, or it can mean changing locations altogether by heading out to your favorite coffee shop or other wi-fi powered establishments. It doesn't matter where you go really, the act of getting up and moving and placing yourself in another environment is enough of a change to get your brain thinking differently.

Remember to Eat & Drink (Healthy)

When I first started to work from home, I would forget to eat. Constantly. I would get lost in what I was doing and then wonder why I felt like utter crap at 4pm. Funny thing, it turns out your body needs food and water regularly throughout the day to work properly.

Three things I quickly learned in this regard:

1) Set calendar reminders for meals. I know it sounds silly, but without the ever-present office clock and coworkers inviting you to lunch, it's easy to forget. Your body and your mind need food, for their sake don't skip important meals like breakfast or lunch.

2) Carry a water bottle with you all the time. Even at home, think of a water bottle as just another part of your work station. Once this object becomes habit and part of your routine, you'll feel naked without it. And with water constantly nearby, chances are you'll be drinking it. The more the better. (Added bonus! The more you drink, the more you have to get up to pee, and moving is always a good thing.)

3) Keep a lot of fruits and vegetables in your kitchen. Snacks are important and they can work wonders in fighting off those late morning/afternoon energy crashes, but you don't want to just snack on junk. If you truly are what you eat, why not be a carrot instead of a potato chip.

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Exercise

We all know the benefits of regular exercise. Unfortunately a lot of us still can't seem to find ways to fit it into our day. Well, when you work from home this should get much easier.

It's recommended that we get 30 minutes of exercise every day, just 30 minutes! If you're lucky enough to make your own schedule, figuring out where to squeeze in these 30 minutes should be easy peasy. Personally, I like to fit my workouts in the morning if possible. Starting the day with a run or a bike ride gets my blood pumping and clears whatever sleepy haze may still be left in my head.

Not a runner or a biker? Try a 30 minute walk to take in some fresh air and explore your neighborhood. Regardless of the activity, just force yourself to get up and get moving, you'll be amazed at the difference.

Take Breaks

After finishing a task or project, sometimes it's good to resist that urge to just jump right in to the next thing. Momentum is good, clear thinking is better. Reward those productive bursts with fun breaks. Maybe this is where you can fit in your 30 minutes of exercise, do a bit of reading, watch some videos, play with your pets, or do absolutely nothing. However you like to spend your breaks, just make sure you take them.

Embrace Your Inner Silliness

There are times when working from home can feel lonely. Then there are times when it's just plain awesome. I think it's important to embrace your solitude with a little, old fashioned silliness. If a song you love comes on...don't be shy. Sing along, air drum, or my personal favorite, desk keyboard. When there's no one around, there's no one to judge you when you talk to yourself, make funny voices, laugh at a joke in your head, or dance like an idiot. Working from home is a blessing, so have some fun with it. You'd be surprised how powerful a smile can be.

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Don't Force It

If your mind and your heart aren't in your work, don't try and force it. This only makes you frustrated and even less productive. Step away and try some of the things above to clear your head. Then once your mind and your body are feeling fresh, come back and tackle that project with renewed energy and creativity.

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10 Comments

  1. These are great! I totally have to set reminders to eat, and keeping water nearby is an excellent habit as well. I love the freedom for a 30-minute midday walk! Another method I use is the Pomodoro Technique of time management, with 25 minute bursts of work with 5 minutes of rest. It's surprisingly refreshing! Stay strong fellow work-from-homers!

  2. I echo everything you said, Emily! I use the Pomodoro Technique also. The five minute breaks every 25 minutes allow me to switch laundry, etc. guilt-free! And, I use tick marks for every 25 minutes spent on a project. Makes it easy at the end of the day to enter my time in Quick Books for billing later. It definitely keeps me on track for the day!

  3. This post has been up for over a year and I'm just finding it now!?

    ha...well I'm happy someone from your end emailed it to me.

    The post, combined with the comments from everyone else's advice, really is a great resource.

    I've worked from home for about 4 years. I moved to a new town about 6 months ago. I don't know anyone. Very lonely. Sooo if you have any more posts like this please share with me @danieldalonzo - thanks!

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