Working from home is a beautiful thing. A comfortable office, having a flexible work schedule, and having your pets around are just a few of the perks of remote jobs. But, too much freedom and comfort can lead to feeling unproductive, burned out, and leave you with a feeling of imposter syndrome. That doesn’t have to be the case; by living intentionally, you can create the ultimate practical and creative you possible! Here are five things every successful person working remotely prioritizes. 

Communicate Proactively

Ah, communication. The no-brainer everyone frequently forgets. Communication is one of the most important things you need when working remotely. Be it with coworkers, bosses, or even members of your household. You must set explicit boundaries and clear expectations; otherwise, you will flounder. 

For instance:

  • Job expectations: what are my daily/weekly tasks? 
  • Household: Do not use my work computer without permission or supervision.
  • Coworker expectations: what is our check-in system for completing tasks?

Being open to these conversations will help with long-term burnout, structuring your day, and keeping work and personal life separate!

Getting on a Schedule

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Working from home is incredibly comforting and allows people to get into a nice flow with their work. However, this can also lead to a quick burnout if one does not set some personal rules. 

Here are a few that I abide by that keep me feeling organized and focused:

1) When you produce your best work, set some office hours.

2) Take scheduled breaks every day! 

3) Try and go into your working day with a checklist.

Having a structured workday can keep you on track and productive; making sure you have a start and end to your day helps ensure you get things done on time and solidify the difference between your day as an employee and your personal self. 

Personal Routines

I cannot stress enough how important it is to distinguish between a work schedule and a personal routine. Personal routines are, well, personal! I am a morning person, so my day begins before 7 am, while some friends prefer a later start to their day and have a completely different set of tasks. 

What is a routine? A ‘sequence of actions regularly followed.’

Definition from Oxford Languages

Here are a few things I do that might help you organize yours:

  • Be specific but flexible: 7 am-ish take Eleanor on a walk and then feed her
  • Do something productive: 7:20 do some yoga, do your skincare, get dressed
  • Do something for yourself: 7:45 make coffee and breakfast

Easy, simple, and honestly very fun! Each component is essential and customizable to fit your lifestyle! 

Create a Strong Support System

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This is very important to ensure you have the space to figure out what working from home looks like. As you are adjusting, it can be easy to be hard on yourself for not adhering to a routine, or maybe some days are slower than others, and you begin to have a case of imposter syndrome. Having a friend, partner, or even parent around to talk to will help alleviate that and get you into tip-top shape again. Building a separate work and personal life is key and means relying on people to pull you out when you need it. 

-Go out to dinner with friends. Planning things for weeknights can help force you to stay on schedule. If you expect company at 6pm, you can’t work until 5:30 and still feel ready to mingle. 

-When you are out of the office, don’t go into your office space. Working from home can feel exhausting, so physically putting your work away will help you put it away mentally. 

-If you can avoid it, don’t mix your working day with your personal day. Doing household chores instead of taking a lunch break can be exciting and demoralizing. If you are taking a break, take one! 

-Take a class. I know this sounds like a lot, but an excellent way to break up the week or day is taking an exercise class, hosting a board game night, or joining a knitting circle. 

Take Up Space

I keep emphasizing: make sure you know that you take up space in the world. Prioritize you with your routine, workspace, and life in general. I’ve found that I can believe in this more now that I have started working from home because I don’t feel that I need to compromise it for the social etiquette of office hierarchy. 

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Things I do to remind myself I am important:

-Spend your money on yourself: hobbies, dinner, tickets…etc. Whatever that looks like to you.

-Push yourself and be kind about it: Jumping into a new routine, workout schedule, or therapy schedule is incredibly hard, but you can do it. Have faith that you are stronger than you know, and be forgiving when things don’t go to plan. 

-Spend time with yourself: Introverts have a night in, extroverts go meet some friends, do what makes you happy every day in small things or in big gestures. 

Work-Life Balance

Ultimately it boils down to knowing that a work-life balance is essential. Successful people pace themselves, trust themselves, and work hard to love themselves. When you feel good and healthy, you can free up your mind for creative things. Burnout is real and is running yourself ragged while feeling unfulfilled. If you balance your professional life with your creativity, skills, and growth, you will avoid that feeling. It is a process, so remember to be kind and selfish about it. 

If a remote job sounds like a path you want to explore, visit Upkey’s Job portal to find over a million options for you. Don’t forget to fix up your resume at our Resume Builder to make sure that when you find the right job you can apply confidently. Need a little escape and looking for ways to treat your friends this holiday? Check out our Career in Progress blog to find our recommended first day gifts for friends! Maybe even pick some out for yourself.