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At first blush, being able to work from home sounds kind of amazing. No more rush-hour commutes. You can spread out your work supplies at your home office -– or on your coffee table and couch – and spend the day from the comfort of your own house. Food and snacks are as close as your kitchen, and you figure you’ll be able to multi-task with ease, switching between home chores and work projects.

But the reality is a little messier for most of us. Work-life integration can be pretty blurry sometimes. And if you are working from home for a long stretch, and especially if you have children or other adults in the home, lack of boundaries between your personal life and career can eventually cause burnout.

There are ways to set limits and make workplace wellness a priority when you are working from home. We’re sharing some simple tips to help you keep control of your own work-life integration. These will allow you to pick the approach that works best for you.

Focus on the Most Important Work

Working from home allows you to streamline your work day, getting rid of the unimportant busy work and some of the time-wasting personal interaction in the office that you can now easily avoid. Start by planning for 3 to 4 hours of uninterrupted, productive work during which you can devote your energy to top-priority issues. By ranking this work and diving in, you’ll finish your most important tasks first. This will not only bring a personal sense of accomplishment, but it will show your managers you are able to get your work done successfully while working remotely.

Stick to a Schedule

Creating a daily schedule might seem like the opposite of the relaxed-atmosphere perk you thought you’d get from working at home, but it’s actually a crucial step toward avoiding burnout. If you don’t stick to a schedule, you risk letting your work day seep into your personal life. A schedule acts as a barrier to keep the two separate.

Start by creating a routine:

  • A daily start time
  • Specific work hours
  • Time away for lunch and errands
  • A daily end time

Don’t be tempted to leave work unfinished, thinking you’ll sit back down at your home office after-hours. This will make you feel like you’re working all day and could lead to burnout. It’s important to learn how to disconnect from your job once the work hours are over. Have a transitional routine to signify to yourself that you are changing from work to downtime. This could include turning off your computer, cleaning up your workspace and changing your clothes.

Stay Connected With Your Coworkers

Working remotely will show you pretty quickly how much you miss some of your office coworkers. Find ways to connect with them whenever possible. This can help you feel less lonely, and maintain those personal relationships that can be so important to your career.

Don’t be afraid to talk to them about topics outside of work. Schedule a video chat during lunch or after work to share stories about how everyone is dealing with a remote work schedule. Or add a little fun by inviting your coworkers to a virtual happy hour.

Take Frequent Breaks

This might take a little getting used to, but make sure to take short breaks in the morning and afternoon – in addition to lunchtime – when you are working remotely. You might be tempted to work through your breaks, but don’t. It’s important to take these mental escapes. You can toss in a load of laundry, go for a quick walk, or sit outside and catch up with your friends and family on the phone or a video call.

These breaks are a great time to grab a healthy snack. Keep pieces of fresh fruit handy and snacks like BodyKey by Nutrilite™ bars, which curb your hunger with a variety of delicious flavors like Caramel Cookie Dough and Chocolate Brownie.

Adjust Your Expectations

You might be used to pulling regular 8-hour days in the office, and are surprised to find you are finishing your work a lot faster when you are working remotely. Since working from home probably means fewer distractions from coworkers stopping by your desk to chat or inviting you to a long lunch, your productivity is likely increasing. Don’t feel guilty if you are finishing the same amount of work in 4 or 5 hours instead of 8. Adjust your expectations and embrace the extra “me time” you’re gaining each day.

Recognize the Signs of Burnout

Working from home is a big change and some people handle it better than others. Keep an eye out for any of these warning signs that prolonged stress and being overworked are leading to burnout:

  • Headaches
  • Negative attitude toward your work and career
  • Loss of motivation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Exhaustion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety

Working from home and work-life integration can have a steep learning curve for some people. With the help of a daily schedule and a firm barrier between your career and personal life, you can make it work for you.