If you aren't working from home, I know what you might be thinking. How can a web worker possibly have stress? They dictate their own schedules, work in their pajamas, etc.
I wish the above statements were true. However the reality is that web working could in fact be more stressful than an office job. If you don't believe me, then head over to New York Times and read this article. It talks about some blatant truths related to web working and throws light on the kind of stress which web workers face everyday. You will surprised to find people like Michael Arrington, at the helm of blogosphere, candidly confessing to having sleepless nights and leading a stressful and unhealthy life.
Although I may not completely agree with the NY times article, nobody can deny the fact that working from home is stressful at times and hence web workers are always trying to organize their methods of working in order to have more time at hands and lead a better life. Hence today I decided to share some points which I think could help in reducing this stress and make life better for someone who's working from home.
It's all about the time
Really, it is. When you decide to work from home, it is you who would decides your working hours and how you can get the maximum the time. I know time-management is cliche now and you are tired of hearing it again and again, still the fact remains that you can't get yourself out of the 24/7 schedule. If you set your priorities right and allot time to different parts of your work, in the end you'll work less hours and gain more out of it. In other words you'll be more productive.
Disrupt the continuity
Sitting at your desk for 5-6 hours continuously isn't a good thing for your eyes or your health. I mean, it's common sense right. So whether you take 3-4 short 5 minute breaks or 1-2 long breaks, you gotta take them.
Use tools like Workrave which does a pretty good job in reminding you that you need to stand up and go away from your computer. So make sure you disrupt the continuity of your work at regular intervals. It's important.
Exercise / Yoga
If you are working from home, you know that your body parts simply don't move as much when compared to going to an office. Sure there are stretches you can do at your workstation but there is no walk from the parking lot, not opportunity to walk up to the third floor, etc.
Hence it's important to fill that gap through exercise or yoga. I have personally struggled with this one; procrastination and the inability to peel myself from the PC simply won't let it occur.
So as I am writing this, I have decided to exercise everyday even if it's for 10 mins. I know this will energize me and help in draining the stress out of my mind and body. If you have been procrastinating like me, then start doing it from today.
One of the ways a person who's in an office job gets rid of stress is by interacting with friends/colleagues and sharing feelings and thoughts with them. When you work from home your primary way to interact is through email or IM. It simply doesn't compare or match the comfort that a human voice can provide.
So, don't stop talking. Talk to your family, to your friends, to your neighbors. Use your cellphone or use Skype. But don't stop talking; find a way to work some conversation into your day.
Music, Books and Movies
Music is known to be the best stress-buster. A nice and soothing song can charge you up like anything. A good book or perhaps an exciting movie can have the similar effect on your mind. So make sure you are in touch with these 3 sources of knowledge and entertainment and use them when you feel tired and stressed.
A Day for you
It's usually a 7-day work week for web workers. The internet won't stop for you and hence you try to match its speed too. But as Mahatma Gandhi said, "There's more to life than increasing its speed."
So take time out for yourself, at least a day in a week. Ditch the computer, forget it, go out and enjoy. You'll feel better and the next day you'll be more enthusiastic when you start working again.
There are some other very effective ways to beat the stress - for example, sex. But I didn't mention it above because it may not apply to all (I mean not everyone might have easy access to it :)
If you work from home, I'd love to know how do you get rid of stress and make your work-from-home life better and productive.