We’re all juggling multiple commitments and it’s sometimes hard to fit everything in. Life today has never been busier, even if you have the freedom to work remotely.
How often do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and swamped by tasks? Do you get to the end of a busy week and still feel like you’ve barely made a dent in your to-do list? There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
We should be grateful to have a job. But as a remote worker, it’s so very easy to fall into the ‘busy-ness’ trap. Setting distinct boundaries between time at work and time at home when home is your workplace, can be tough! We feel like we’re ON. All. The. Time.
Some people like to wear their ‘busy-ness’ as a badge of honor. They feel important when they have overly busy lives. It doesn’t help when society equates busy with being productive.
As Seth Godin once said, “If I was always busy and I managed to avoid wiping out, sooner or later, everything would work out.”
Yeah, that’s never going to happen!
Here are the tell-tale signs that you’re overdoing it, and some tips on how to ‘chill-out’ and restore work-life balance so you can get back to enjoying having a remote career.
Waking up tired
Do you jump out of bed in the morning? It’s not unusual to wake up still feeling a little weary some days. But if you find yourself always hitting the snooze button three or more times every morning, it’s a sure sign your body is telling you to rest.
It’s easy to say ‘go to bed earlier’, but many of us have family and household responsibilities to attend to before diving into the land of Z’s. So if that’s not possible, let’s look at the things you can change:
- Are you eating right? A poor diet and inadequate nutrition are major contributors to fatigue.
- Can someone else do it? Yes, we know you can do ANYTHING … but you can’t do EVERYTHING! Take a look at your schedules – both work and personal, and outsource whatever you can to lighten the load.
- Switch off. Most of us are guilty of hopping into bed with our phones or tablets right before going to sleep – don’t do it. Glaring at a bright screen in bed disrupts the circadian rhythm and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
Being grumpier than usual
We all experience bad moods from time to time, but are the people around you complaining that you’re grumpier than usual? Are you losing your cool when you’re normally calm?
This is often a sign you’re stressed and taking on too much. When you have a lot of things on your plate, your mental to-do list can sit in the back of your mind and nag away at you – it’s a sure-fire way to bring down your mood.
Here are some tips:
- Make a plan for tackling the important tasks – you don’t have to get everything done. In fact, studies show just making a plan and writing it down can be enough to eliminate the mental nagging.
- Try your hand at meditation. Spend at least a few minutes each day to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and calm your thoughts.
- Take short leisure breaks. Even simple things like doing a crossword, playing Sudoku or Candy Crush can be sufficient to disrupt distressing thoughts and restore your mood.
- Write a Gratitude List. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for today – healthy kids, a well paying job, loving partner, friends who care about you, etc. This can balance your mood even more.
Disconnecting from family & friends
When you’re busy all the time, it’s so easy to disconnect from the people around you. But often this is when you need those connections the most.
Here are some things you can do to keep you sane and level headed:
- Give a loved one a call. Schedule a weekly or bi-weekly reminder so you don’t forget.
- Go on a regular lunch date with a friend. You might be busy, but you still need to eat, right?!
- Ask for help when you need it. As Shaa Wasmund says in her book, Do Less Get More, “Asking is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the easier it becomes to do it.”
- Show up for important events. Nothing shows you care more than being present at special occasions. Be sure to make the effort when you can.
Feeling stuck in a rut
Perhaps it’s best to call ‘time-out’. Take a serious look at your work situation. Sometimes it helps to think of the bigger picture and work back from there – what are you actually trying to achieve? Identify that and find a more sustainable way to achieve it, because you can bet you won’t make it by living like a zombie. Your health can suffer and it can also hurt those closest to you.
It might be time to convince your boss to take your remote career on the road. A workation can do wonders and give you a new perspective on life. Take yourself into a different environment, meet new people and experience new things. Just be sure you have WiFi wherever you end up 🙂
We hope these tips make a difference to your busy life.