How to NOT go insane while working from home, according to someone who does it daily

Working from home sounds like the most romantic idea when you’re stuck at a day job you hate (or even while working a job you love!) and parts of it really are amazing. Realistically though, it could also be a really lonely situation. Some days you might be too busy to even leave your house, or you might be saving money and leaving the house isn’t an option. All this shut-in time can equal not seeing a human face in days, which can equal temporary insanity, and that’s not good. So for all my fellow WFH-ers, below are some of the things that have kept me from going stir-crazy while I toil away from my couch.

Helpful tips for working from home:

1Create a routine.

Investing in a day planner where you can schedule out your routine can give you some much-needed structure, and force you to mix-up your day so you have some balance. That way, you’re not tempted to stay in bed later than you need to or postpone that all-important morning coffee and paper time, before you get to cracking open your laptop.

It can be as simple as a pretty notebook and highlighters, (my favorite!) Post-its, or digital stickies to help remind you what you need to do, and when you need to do it. Checking off the list as you go will help you feel more motivated and productive throughout the day and visualizing it all will help to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

2Give yourself “reward” breaks throughout the day.

Is it giving yourself time to walk around the neighborhood? Tea time? Quiet breaks? Watching a TV show? Reading part of a book? Giving yourself small “reward” breaks during the day will make a huge impact in your day to day work life. That way, once you’ve completed something work-related, you have something to look forward to and keep the day moving.

3Make an effort to reach out to friends.

This one is big for me. Even if you like being alone, working from home all the time is pretty lonely. You *might* even start talking to your TV. (That’s another story though!) Take time everyday if you can to reach out to a friend (or three!), even if it’s just a quick text or nighttime phone call. Make plans to get together in-person and/or frequently Skype with people you adore. Do anything in your power to make sure that the only conversation you have in a day isn’t with your cat.

4Get outside!

This is the hardest for me personally. If I don’t plan to leave somewhere in the morning and get ready before I start working, it’s almost impossible to get me out of the house. It’s difficult even if deep down I know leaving my house will get me out of a funk. Sometimes just forcing yourself to get dressed and walking around the block or meandering through the grocery store is enough to fix your spirits. Scheduling some time to go outside or working a few hours at a coffee shop or park can help, too.

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