While it seems so much more relaxed and laid back to be working from home, it is actually just as much ‘working’ as a job – or should be. However just as there are breaks required by law for every so many hours worked at a job, as well as a lunch break, you need to structure your time at home in the same way.
You shouldn’t look at your breaks and time for yourself as ‘slacking’ – that is as long as you actually are ‘taking care of business’ when you are working. You need to look at having a balance in your life. You can’t just work – even if it is necessary to have more than one job, or you go from your main job to work at home building a business.
We are only human. You are not going to win any medals for non-stop work marathons. Those should be the exception only when something unusual happens such as technical problems, or some other temporary project is a priority. On a regular basis you need to take time out to maintain your health – both physical and mental. It’s no joke.
Not to mention eventually getting ‘burned out’ and unable to proceed, or spinning your wheels (working without getting anything accomplished); if you collapse from exhaustion, who is going to run your life? Very real conditions due to over-work for young people as well as older folk, are chronic eye strain, neck, wrist (carpal tunnel, etc)., and lower back pain.
Then there are the things like neglecting your family at the same time. You need to spend some ‘quality time’ with them – whether it is an hour in the evenings, a few hours on the weekends or whatever time you all have to be together. You might understand you are doing all this work for your family but the only thing a child understands is you are never there for them whether working at home or away at a job.
You should be taking frequent breaks to rest your eyes and one thing that is recommended in this regard is to focus on something as far away as you can at least every couple hours. Close your eyes for a few minutes and completely rest them. Make sure you have good indirect light and that your monitor is at eye level – not up or down.
For your back, get up from your desk and walk around the room and stretch if it is not possible to go out and take a walk in the fresh air and sunshine – or to go to the gym for a good workout. Try to always sit straight and have a foot rest (phone book works) to relieve the stress of sitting on your lower back.
Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and take a whole day to completely escape from your computer periodically, and on a regular basis. It is a known fact that taking ‘cat naps’ makes your more efficient – so take a short nap whenever you can.
Have a plan – schedule your work time and get your work done during that time. You will find that being rested, relaxed and having a life apart from work will make working from home a whole lot more productive and gratifying. Of course hopefully also more profitable!