Seven strange ways of dealing with recluse in remote work
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This can happen to you, even if you have a lot of remote work experience - moreover, the longer you work from home, the more likely it is to happen. You have found an excellent remote work , organized a home office with a  convenient workplace  - in general, firmly established. But at some point it will turn out that you have settled too firmly: for three days you have not left the house, in the fridge, with a roll ball - but you did not notice this, because you haven’t had a full lunch break for several months. And you have already forgotten when the last time you had something other than this sweatshirt.

Last year, sociologists from the University of  Iowa and the University of Texas at Austinfound that working even part-time outside the usual office, we, on average, work out three hours a week more. Working from home can increase productivity , but there is a greater risk of loneliness and the appearance of an impostor syndrome , which can lead to depression and burnout.

And this is true: working remotely, some of us begin to lead such a reclusive life that it is no longer up to pajama jokes. The situation can be aggravated simply because you are not deterred by such physical limitations as, for example, a cleaner turning off the lights.

I have been working remotely for almost five years. Adapting to this incredibly comfortable lifestyle, I learned to be more responsible in dealing with such life-defining aspects as physical activity, a balanced diet and developing healthy relationships with a  team working in different parts of the world  - these are pillars of a long and fruitful career if you work from home.

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However, there are unobtrusive little things on which depends how the days in the "home office" pass.

Such work is a huge opportunity: to create a beautiful environment, work according to a  convenient schedule and not waste precious time moving from home to work! And it is also very important to maintain interest throughout the day, avoiding excessive striving for perfection.

When working remotely, you may feel that you are stuck in one place. And to help you not to fall into this trap (or get out of it), I will show some unusual, simple, but effective, and even some strange ways to add a little fun, joy and socialization to everyday life.

Seven weird ways to keep your balance in life by working from home

1. Plan ahead how you will dress tomorrow morning.

When working from home, it is important to separate that part of life, which is, in fact, “work”. It may seem silly to think in advance about what you will walk at home tomorrow, but this will help break the vicious circle and stop wearing the same boring pants with a hoodie. In addition, I recommend not to abuse coffee and postpone lunch - or make a schedule for snacks and meals.

Treat this as if you had to go to the office: get up, get dressed, and do not forget to eat right throughout the day. So you will be ready for anything - including a sudden meeting with a friend over a cup of coffee or  video chat with the boss. Quoting Henry Ford: “The biggest secret of success is preparation.” Of course, your understanding of “readiness” is different from mine, but at leastmake the bed is a must . And if the bed is made, then the morning can be taken up with a variety of things!

2. Give the morning "initiative pleasures."

The next step is to get the brain to work in the morning , and in the right direction (that is, positive and productive).

In the books of Ayn Rand, the concept of “proactive pleasure” was used, which was defined as something pleasant, for which you need to “connect the mind”: it should be something that requires “insight, independence of judgment, attention”, but not to solve problems. Try to make so that decision-making fatigue does not appear in the morning: minimize the need for choice and the routine — take better time to benefit your personal development activities.

It doesn't matter what you decide to do - it should be interesting and pleasant, so that you have the motivation to go up and do it every day, while gaining new knowledge or applying a creative approach. I love to switch between reading and writing in my personal projects, which is accompanied by a short morning meditation, a walk with the dog and the selection of a new smoothie recipe.

3. Make it a rule to go out in people.

I am not kidding. It is especially difficult to force yourself to go outside when the weather worsens: you want to lock yourself up and go out in the most extreme case - when you have nothing to eat. This may seem like a simple task, but even if it’s so, setting it as a rule to go to a public place (and not just to the grocery store) at least once a day, you can remember (and not forget) how this is done in general.

Another easy task: the best thing to do is to use the time free from commuting to go outside and get some fresh air. Regular, moderate exercise directly correlates with increased productivity and, according to the Harvard Business Review , is a key factor in improving the balance between work and personal life.

4. Meet new music and create playlists.

Listening to new music is good for the brain : it activates the center, which causes a feeling of reward and excitement (in a good way). At the same time, studies have shown that by the age of 30 most of us start listening to new music less or not listening to anything new at all !

The data on users of Echo Nest and Spotify from the USA say that by the age of 33 the listener will most likely never get acquainted with the new music. But you do not give in - turn the background on new tracks via YouTube or Spotify. This will help preserve the openness of the new, and the additional creative lesson - the compilation of playlists - will fuel the whole day with constructive energy. And ready-made playlists can be shared with friends!

5. Place attention-seeking items out of reach.

One of the conditions for high productivity  - regular breaks. But if there is nobody around, you easily forget about them. In order not to linger on a chair in your home office, think up regular breaks that are difficult to avoid:

  • If you are a music lover like me, turn on the turntable for the whole working day and place it away from the table - so that you have to get up and turn the record every half hour.
  • Leave your phone in the kitchen - to get up and check it when something has arrived (provided that you have set up notifications and the phone does not call to itself every five minutes).
  • Do not keep food and drinks on hand.

In general, if you fail to regularly lift yourself from the table, insert simple actions into the daily routine with an interval of 20-30 minutes that will make you get up and be distracted by something for a short time - take a few minutes to this activity. you got a real break.

6. Watch serials. Seriously.

Four studies have shown that “parasocial,” or one-sided, relationships in serials — when you watch the communication on the screen but not participate in it — can serve as a real surrogate for society . This means that if you look at the Office series in a depressed mood, what is happening on the screen will help to weaken the feeling of loneliness and give a sense of belonging.

7. Regularly attend the same fitness classes, the same cafe or dog walking area.

You can do all of the above, but at the same time miss the key component of a balanced life when working remotely - communication with other people.
For survival, emotional well-being and even to increase the duration and quality of life, we definitely need other people . Today it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a full-fledged relationship with others: Cigna reports in its report that only half of the respondents have full-time personal communication every day. But there is also good news: scientists have figured out how to make friends correctly , and it turned out that all that is needed is time.

In the  Journal of Social and Personal Relationsa study was published, in which they calculated: in order for someone to start to consider you a friend, you need to spend with this person an average of 50 hours to become true friends - another 40 hours, and in order to be invited to the wedding, you will need a total of 200 hours. So often go to different places and attend events where the same people regularly come, look for a reason to chat, and after a while you will already have your own gang!

Work as if nobody sees

If you realize that you are completely buried in your distant work, then it would be best to show yourself a little compassion and try something new. And you can do as I do: just dance in your “office” - no one will see you!

Remote work can give freedom, free up time and creative space. Do not miss these opportunities, develop your "strange" habits that will help you live every day with pleasure and benefit - for the sake of such days it was worth working.

About the translator.

Translation of the article is done in Alconost.

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