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7 ways to stop yourself from becoming overworked

Now that most people are working from home during the Corona crisis, the dividing line between work and private life is becoming blurred. In some countries, there is evidence that the average number of hours worked has increased since the Corona outbreak.

Avoid becoming overworked - Hays.nl

The negative impacts of overworking are many, so to avoid doing so we share 7 ways to prevent burnout:

7 tips to prevent yourself from becoming overworked

1. Set boundaries

If you have the space, devote somewhere in your home specifically for work, ideally with a desk or table, supportive chair and good lighting. 

Try to clearly communicate the start and finish times of your ‘office hours’ with the people you live with.

Staying focused and distraction-free while working from home can be tricky for those with children. If you are unable to share parenting responsibilities, speak to your manager and team to make them aware of any hours you will be ‘offline’ and with your family. Tips for working parents.

2. Prioritise the tasks that matter for the day

Be clear in your mind on what the key areas of focus are that day. Focus on these only, and communicate any urgent priorities with your team, ensuring they are realistic.

This will ensure you’re all collectively working towards the same aim and concentrating on the right things, whilst also not being overwhelmed by the work needed to be completed in the days and weeks ahead. 

By keeping your task list to one day’s activities only, it will also give you a greater sense of achievement at the end of the day.

3. Don’t be afraid to say no 

In these changing times, your priorities and areas of focus might shift, almost on a daily basis. That’s why you need to have the confidence and conviction to say ‘no’ to tasks that aren’t going to help you or your business achieve what’s truly important right now.

If an extra task or two really does need to be taken on, try to be realistic about what you can do in the time that you have during your main working day, perhaps offering a partial solution in the meantime.

4. Don’t skip your lunch break

Even if you usually do so in the office, try not to eat at your desk. 

If you can, have a space that is nowhere near your desk for eating, or go outside for some fresh air, while respecting your local authority’s guidelines on social distancing. If you have the space you could use the time to try a 30-minute workout, read or catch up on news in your industry or sector.

5. Don’t let your working hours overrun 

Practice being disciplined in leaving your home office when your working hours are over, and don’t go back until the morning.

It can be tempting for many to do a few extra hours in the evening, however this could come at the cost of disrupting your sleep schedule and depleting your energy levels the following day.

You should also be logging out of Skype or any other chat or messaging functionality that you may have on your computer or phone that are related to work, until the next day. Switch off your work phone and limit yourself to checking your work emails in the evening.

6. Take time for yourself

It’s crucial to enable your mind to understand that you are no longer working. 

Do some exercise, take up a relaxing hobby, spend quality time with your family or housemates or cook a nice meal – in short, whatever you can do that is different to work, and ideally in a different room to your ‘home office.

7. Try not to dwell on the negatives

You may be overworking to avoid paying too much attention to the crisis that is going on around us.

Instead, try to focus on the positives in your life and what you have to be grateful for. Consider what you can do around the house that you’ve been meaning to get to or catching up with friends and family remotely.

In short, there are always things that you can do to distract yourself and use your time in healthy and productive ways during this outbreak, rather than overworking.

Other tips for working from home

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