Sparkchasers Episode 9 | Show Notes
The Biggest Challenges I’ve Faced Working from Home
Since 2014, I’ve been working either completely from home or have had the flexibility to work from home whenever I’d like. And in 2020, lots of you are now in the same boat. There’s this idealized “must be nice” kind of thinking about people who get to work from home. But now that we’ve all been forced into that scenario, it’s becoming so clear that there are some real downsides.
Today, I’m hoping we can dig into the truth behind the challenges of working from home, as well as some specific tools I’ve learned that have helped me make this more joyful. My hope is that this conversation helps you know you’re not alone if you’re not happy about working and living in the same space, and that you leave our chat with some specific strategies to make it a little better. Let’s dig in.
Lack of Boundaries
Perhaps the biggest challenge I’ve faced working from home is a lack of boundaries. Every other challenge actually comes from this one. Because when you’re working and living in a single space, there’s no definitive start and end time. Your office becomes your living room which becomes your laundry folding station. Here are some aha’s I’ve gotten about this over the years:
- Working more hours (not less) is common
- Continuously being “on” makes taking breaks difficult
- Make it hard to access your stuff – social media, email, and even your office space
- Limit what you want to accomplish for work each day
- Set a schedule and stick to it
Health Takes a Backseat
Here’s a hard truth for me: in the first two years of working from home, I gained 50 pounds. And I’ve watched many others who have made the same switch struggle with their health as well. It’s not just weight gain that threatens our health. It’s the mental drain, the constant staring at a screen, and the limited movement that are chipping away at our best selves. Here’s some tools for bringing health upfront again:
- Stretch and movement breaks are critical.
- Make a meal plan and stick with it
- Make drinking at least 60 oz. of water each day easy
- Find a hobby you love and make it a priority to do at least once per week
This one hurts to admit, but working from home for me meant watching a lot of relationships fade. This includes relationships with my family, which was tough. About 3 years in, I had a realization that I didn’t like where this was going and made some very specific changes which have made a real difference:
- Set aside at least one block of time each week for the people who are most important to you
- Create a 15 minute “Connection Time” in each day for letter writing, sending emails, or calling those special people in your life
- Don’t forget the relationship with yourself. How do you practice self-care?
So…think back on the year so far. How are YOU doing with boundaries, health, and relationships? If any of these areas need a little TLC, you are not alone my friend. Hopefully, something from today’s show has sparked an idea for making one of these areas a bit brighter. Because if there’s one thing I am certain about, it’s that each of these areas will help us get through our new reality with just a bit more hope and support.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about this topic. Remember, you can use the ask me anything button on the podcast page to share with me your ideas and what’s bubbling to the surface for you. Just head over to artsintegration.com/sparkchasers and you’ll find today’s show notes, contact area, and links for more resources. And if you are enjoying the show and know someone who could benefit from our discussions, please share the podcast with them. Together, we can chase the spark of our ideas and make a brighter future for everyone. I’ll see you soon.
The Essentialist’s Guide to Teacher Planning
8 Tips to Overcome Loneliness When Working from Home
Prioritizing Self Care While Working from Home
Have a Question?
Do you have a question about today’s episode or need help with something? Let me know using the button below and I’ll make sure to chat about it on an upcoming episode.