I've been all of these remote workers: 1) Starting my own business consulting and working for myself 2) Had a corporate job where I worked from home 2-3 days a week 3) Lived on the road in new cities and countries where I knew no one. I'd say I've gone through it all when it comes to remote work fatigue. Regardless if you're an extrovert, introvert, ambivert, or new to remote life or seasoned, the isolation and or routine can get old. Especially when you only have yourself to water cooler talk with. Here are my tips for staying sane, productive, and mentally healthy when you have the gift of working autonomously.
I'm a firm believer in preventative B.O. aka burn out and or boredom, which are two main threats to this lifestyle. There are many ways to keep mental health balanced and stay above the waves. I've outlined some tricks I use below.
Firstly, get your environment vibe right. Light that candle, buy flowers and put it by your desk. I usually make a vibey morning playlist and different one for the afternoon so they're ready to go. I'm a snack person and like to have these handy. Try to make whatever corner you're working with inspiring and cozy AF.
1. I cannot stress this enough: have a morning routine. I like to start off the day with gratitude (highly recommend insight timer, of all the apps it's free and really amazing content), tea with journaling, EFT with Brad Yates, meditation, a quick walk, and making yourself breakfast. This usually takes me anywhere from 1-2 hours. And I savor this morning time. I also did a video on morning rituals here.
2. Get dressed. I'm not saying I don't enjoy the occasional No-Pants-Monday's but seriously, lipstick at the home office can feel legit too.
3. Exercise. If you're not prioritizing this, I would highly recommend especially in the morning. It releases the endorphins and the dopamine chemicals in the brain. Yoga stretches, some push-ups and squats.
4. Time management. Breaks regularly are key to productivity and can avoid creative rumination or perfectionism as well! I'm the kind of person that will sit at a computer for hours without blinking if I'm left to it. Something to help my productivity and take more breaks is the tomato timer, where it lets you work for 20 minutes straight, then take a 5 minute or 15-minute break. Why not do some stretches or lunges on one of those breaks or outside for a walk, trust me, you'll come back to your work with fresh energy and maybe, just maybe finish early.
*****Updated****** I realize in this time, public spaces should be avoided, so push pause on these below that apply.
5. Change your environment. Switch up your workplace like Croissant, an app where you can rent a desk by the hour in different offices. Or try a new neighborhood coffee shop or hotel lobby, it switches up the energy and environment which makes the mind a bit more productive. Or you can join a co-working space.
6. Co-work with friends. Schedule a time to co-work with other nomad friends. I also like to crash friend's offices when I'm in town and borrow one of their empty desks (thanks friends!).
7. Treat Yo' Self. Retail therapy is real. Even buying something for yourself as little as a new notebook. Sometimes I like to do a spa treatment in the middle of the day or take a lunch break and buy myself a new lipstick. If you can't leave your desk, online shopping feels just as good. Extra credit, taking yourself to a fancy dinner.
8. Socialize. It's easy to let the days go by and not make the effort to connect with friends. I like to schedule calls and video dates with friends at least once a week.
9. Inspiration trip. It's important to do something you love on a regular basis. Museums, drawing class, whatever it is, go look for it and pencil it in. Meet ups is an interesting platform to find groups with like minded interests. Airbnb experiences is a great way to find local experiences and inspiration.
10. Meetings with like minded work tribe. I say this because when you don't have colleagues to bounce ideas with regularly it's important to setup network meetings to hear what other people are doing and share what you're working on. 11. Pick up a new hobbie. Skillshare is an interesting platform for a pretty low price you can get into a new hobby. 12. Digital groups. I treat facebook like my yahoo email address, except when it comes to group pages. I find it as a great resource when you're in a new city, need to find some help on a project, or to connect with other remote or digital nomads. I like Freelancing Females or Girls Gone International when I'm in a new city to connect with ex-pats.
It's important to set some sort of schedule and routine in place or time can sneak past you as well as your sanity. Make sure to listen to yourself and remember the hierarchy of needs (a whole other conversation) in a nutshell it's a 5 tier model of human needs: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self actualization. You're not alone out there, it's a new shift in working and you have to pay attention to what feels balanced for you.