You wake up on Tuesday, look out the window – it’s still raining. So you decide to stay in again today. You’ll get more done anyway.
At the end of the day, you feel fidgety. You can’t concentrate. Before you know it a week has past. You feel grumpy, bored and discontent – classic symptoms of cabin fever.
The Indoor Blues
Cabin fever can strike at any time of year – substitute bad weather with all kinds of different excuses to stay in the house, including It’s too hot, I’m too busy, I can’t bothered.
The odd day at home will do you no harm. But not going out can become a pattern. As an online business owner working from home, you are more prone to suffer from cabin fever than the rest of the population.
You may think you are doing what’s best for your business, but when cabin fever strikes, you become unproductive.
Beating Cabin Fever
Luckily, you can break free from cabin fever and lead a more balanced life.
Here are ten top working from home tips from online entrepreneurs:
1. Go on the road – Getting out and about helps the ideas to flow. Working in a library or coffee shop with fewer distractions may actually improve your concentration.
2. Get moving – “Taking walks gets you out of the house, gets the blood flowing again and gets you the vitamin D you need,” says Mike Greene, a social media and sales consultant.
Physically getting away from the office helps you dump your worries and get the creative juices flowing. So you’ll return to work refreshed and relaxed.
“I ride my bike and go to the gym daily. The gym is essential for me to take my mind off of things for a short time each day,” says Chris Anderson, a deskside support worker.
3. Mind Your Feng Shui – “Rearranging the furniture in your workspace will give you the feeling of working somewhere ‘new’” says Mike Greene. Keep your workspace tidy and organized, so you can quickly find files and documents. Hang a favourite picture or use plants to give your workspace a calm and relaxed atmosphere. You’ll look forward to working and the quality of your work will improve.
4. Arrange meet-ups – Even introverts need social contact. “Book appointments or have lunch with friends. Talking to another person face-to-face gives you the human contact you miss if you’re coming from an office setting,” says Mike Greene.
5. Develop a routine – When you work from home, the boundaries between work and home life get blurred. Work can take over your life. If you don’t give your mind a rest, you’ll become less productive.
“I have regular work hours and do my best to maintain them. (I don’t) work in the evenings or at weekends,” says Terry L. Green, a speaker and support for coaches.
6. Create a work mindset – Working in your pyjamas is a bad idea says Bernard Gore, a programme manager. “Have a “work” outfit even if just one particular item of clothing, a “work” location even if just a corner of a room,” he says. At work time, he dresses in his work outfit and goes to his workspace. “This makes work a consciously different activity and breaks up the monotony that contributes to cabin fever,” he says.
7. Do something different – Developing a routine can help you set boundaries, but sticking rigidly to the same schedule can lead to boredom. “I think it’s a matter of giving yourself permission to mix it up,” says Mike Van Horn, an advisor on small business growth. He suggests working in the garden or having a walk in the afternoon.
8. Plan other activities – “I read, watch TV, and play one person games,” says Charles Smith, a student. Do other activities at home. Reward yourself when you complete work with pleasurable activity. Have a project outside of work, for example, gardening or painting.
9. Change your view of “cabin fever” – Many online business owners take digital sabbaticals, where they don’t go online at all, either at home or as a holiday. “Several times in my life I’ve stayed in an isolated cabin by myself for a month or two,” says Mike Van Horn. “I went prepared with books to read and many things to write about. I came back to civilization rejuvenated and full of ideas,” he says.
10. Create your own strategy – Experiment with different approaches to discover what works for you. If one idea doesn’t work for you, try something else. We’re all different.
Finding A Balance
“I’ve worked out of my home for over ten years now and wouldn’t trade it for anything, cabin fever included,” says Terry L. Green. “As long as you make an effort to get outside and leave the house on a regular basis you should be able to ward off cabin fever,” she says.
What do you do to fight cabin fever? Leave your comments below.