When people think of working from home, they dream of late sleep ins, sitting in bed with their laptop, maybe a dip at the beach and lots of luxurious “me” time.
For VA’s, the reality couldn’t be more different.
Sure it’s great to take 5 steps from the bedroom and you’re in your “office”, and the perks of chatting to the dog all day long and having complete access to a coffee machine is also fabulous.
However, you might also often feel isolated, alone, distracted and unmotivated, when working from home. Not to mention when you clock off, your office is literally your home. There’s no escape from the same spaces 24 hours a day, which can create a feeling of boredom even when you’re not working.
As a long-time VA team, we’ve tried and tested many ideas to stave off these feelings of loneliness and overwhelm. One of the most important things all VA’s need to do is create their workspace to be similar to an actual office.
Set up where you will be working during the day and make sure once you’re not working, you can walk away from that area and not return until the next day. This not only creates separation in your mind, but it will promote the motivation you need to stay focused on your tasks, and not the pantry.
Other ideas to avoid cabin fever and give yourself a break include:
1. Connect when you can
Instead of arranging phone meetings with clients, think about Zoom calls. Seeing and interacting with people online via video conference is a great way to feel engaged and part of a team.
The same goes for emails to your team or contractors. Instead of simply hitting reply to emails, record a voice message and send it. It’s a lovely surprise for the recipient too who would otherwise expect a long, boring email.
2. Take sun and exercise breaks
With the temptation of the pantry and fridge, it’s easy to become a consistent snacker when you work from home. Sitting for long periods of time is also really unhealthy, so make sure you schedule regular breaks to get outdoors and stretch your legs. One of our team lies in the sun on her balcony and meditates for 10 minutes at lunchtime. The sun energises her, she has a rest and she’s also empowering her brain through meditation….all in 10 minutes.
3. Surround yourself with inspiration
The most popular way to motivate that we’ve seen in recent years is the vision board. For you, maybe it’s a fresh bunch of flowers on your desk…for others, it might be a beautiful teacup that makes your heart sing.. Whatever it is, surrounding yourself with items that boost your creativity and gratitude is not only pretty, it also improves your workflow.
4. Let there be light
Ensure your blinds and curtains are open and lovely light is coming into your workspace. Natural light increases your serotonin levels, wards off seasonal depression, and improves sleep. So switch off the electric lights, and flood your space with fresh air and sunlight!
5. Keep track of your wins
Keep a list of your accomplishments throughout the day and mark off your to-do list.
It may sound very small however this is a great way to help you feel proud of the work and for you to see how much work you actually accomplish. Then reward yourself for your epic work and commitment to growing other people’s businesses!