Don’t let stress manage you: Your 10-step guide to a stress-free WFH experience

Whether or not you’re new to the setup, working from home has its ups and downs. On the upside, not only are you able to save money from skipping the daily commute but you’re also shaving off time by avoiding traffic jams. But then again, the home-based setup tends to set you up for more distractions, workflow interruptions, reduced social interactions, and even blurred obligations between job and family.

These conditions are sure to fire your stress levels up and tear your efficiency down, but don’t fret because these tips are your holy grail for managing stress.

1. Ease up. Relaxing while working seems to be impossible given the pending tasks, workload, and deadlines, but it’s been proven to get one to his best potential. With this “offline” period, relaxation allows increased blood flow, better circulation, and sharper concentration—ultimately recharging your batteries.

2. A little bit of sunshine won’t hurt! In stressing conditions, it may be difficult to be optimistic, but this trait can go a long way. A positive mindset helps you see the silver lining in each tough situation, and with each bright side that you appreciate comes less things there are to hate. Take some time to bond with family, work in the nature setting, or think of things you love. After all, “Optimism is not just a mindset; it’s a behavior.”

3. Delegate, then decorate. Having a personal workspace is way better than working on the bed where there’s a higher chance of slacking off or falling asleep. Start by picking a spare room or a quiet area in your house where you could work undisturbed, and then furnish your newfound workspace with a table and a chair along with other work essentials – you can even add some wall decors like  farmhouse canvas signs.

4. Clutter-free equals productivity. Working in an unorganized station is stressing as you spend extra time looking for lost items hidden in the clutter. Tidy up your workspace at the end of each shift so that you can start the next day with an organized station. Keeping a clean and orderly workspace is crucial to one’s efficient use of time and productivity because it eradicates activities that disrupt your workflow.

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5. Planning is your friend. The WFH setup gets you more time to accomplish tasks, but having a lot of time on your hands can also be confusing and may lead to procrastination. Plan your day ahead by constructing timetables which include specific tasks to be done, allotted time for each task, and what your goals are for each. Set a realistic start time and end time so you’ll know when your day begins and when to call it a day.

6. Stay on track. Distractions at home can be due to a number of things: TV shows, game consoles, notifications popping up on your cell phone. These temptations are enticing, but don’t let yourself succumb to a day’s worth of distraction in exchange for more than a day of stressing out about unaccomplished tasks. Keep away from temptations by maintaining a safe distance from unnecessary gadgets, hiding your possessions in somewhere you won’t see them, or temporarily blocking distracting websites.

7. Joke around! In the middle of tasks and the pressure to finish them all in time, getting your humor to work may be the best stress reliever you and your colleagues might have. Send your coworkers some fun messages or memes—anything to lighten things up. You could also throw in a smiley face in emails to lift the mood of the virtual workspace you share with colleagues.

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8. No man is an island. If you’ve just transitioned to the remote working setup and you had a strong social life in the old normal, this abrupt change will most likely have adverse effects on your productivity and morale. Organize group calls or video conferences with colleagues to catch up with one another. If possible, make sure to check up on peers through chat and inquire about their well-being. 

9. It pays to be patient. With the ongoing pandemic and the drastic changes to routines, it’s expected that things won’t always go according to plan. You’ll have productive days and sometimes, you’ll feel like you haven’t accomplished anything at all. Always remember that you cannot control everything, and that’s okay. Adjustment to new settings is never easy, so just take it step by step. When feelings of stress and pressure exceed your capacity, take a deep breath and say, “I’ll get better with time.”

Begin with the end in mind. There’s a handful to learn in the process of adjusting to an entirely new setup, and not everyone has figured it all out. When faced with challenges, it’s important that you focus on the now. Picture your goal, do what needs to be done, and stay positive and motivated despite the unwanted circumstances you’re in.

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