There are many ways that we can be working remotely. It could be working in a remote community, like an Aboriginal Community or on a station or a farm, or even your own small business in which you are working for organisations that are some distance away. When we are working remotely, there are stress traps that are associated with this particular situation. The issues that we tend to find when working remotely are;
TRAP 1: PERSONAL LIFE INTERRUPTIONS AND DISTRACTIONS
The constant interruptions from our personal life, this trap is prevalent for people who work from home especially whilst also parenting small children. We can also have the distraction and interruption from family members, neighbors, or other people visiting our home whilst we are working.
TRAP 2: BOUNDARIES OF WORK AND HOME ARE BLURRED
We can also have the distraction of personal tasks in our home life, such as washing, meal preparation, and other tasks that are convenient to do because we're actually working from home.
TRAP 3: NO DESIGNATED WORK HOURS
The other stress trap is that we live where we actually work, regardless of what kind of work you do, the boundaries become blurred. Sometimes, we spend too much personal time during our work time, or too much work time during our personal time, and we can have demands of others imposed upon us during our personal time. So, for example, if you work in a remote Aboriginal Community or a station, there are constant demands of your work or your business that impede upon your personal time and your downtime.
So, here are a few tips of what we can do to manage the stress traps that are associated with working remotely.
STRATEGY 1: SET A STRICT SCHEDULE
Number one, set a strict schedule. Ensure that you're blocking out times for key things that you need to do so that you're allowing enough time for everything. Track your time using handy time tracking tools, such as Toggl. Set aside 20 to 40 minutes to work on a project, and then reward yourself with either a personal task or a personal reward. For more information on this, check out the Pomodoro Technique. Our brain is designed to work in cycles of 45 minutes, so working for 20 to 40 minutes is ideal.
STRATEGY 2: CREATE A MUMMY ZONE
Create, what I call, the Mummy Zone. This is where you create a space that is purely yours, that is uninterrupted, peaceful, tranquil, and a space that is purely for you. This can be a space in the garden or a place where you walk to. Walking and being outside and connecting to nature is proven to reduce stress. Or, it can simply be placing calming elements around you, such as soft lighting, candles, aromatic elements, such as incense or essential oils, and blocking out the world with beautiful, calming music. Check out my playlist on Spotify.
STRATEGY 3: SET BOUNDARIES
Let people know when your hours of operation and work are, including your family and friends. Be strict with your timing. Make sure that you're allocating time to projects that you specifically need to do and stick to it.
Would you like to become more emotionally resilient?
If you are feeling stressed at work, particularly by the behaviour of others, I may be able to provide you with some resilience strategies. Book in a time for a chat. I can’t promise I can fix everything, but the next best thing I can do is to chat with you. Make a time that suits you for a 15-minute chat. Once I know you better (and you know me) we can decide if you want to dig a little deeper into the issues and can organise a free Stress Management Strategy session.
About the Author:
Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a time management & stress management enthusiast based in Alice Springs, Australia. She has spent over 20 years working in time precious and stressful industries such as film, hospitality and marketing. She has always had a burning passion for creating order and making sense of things. She is sought after like a beacon in a sea of chaos to provide professional development in the business environment through workshop training, coaching, mentoring, online training programmes, webinars and as a guest speaker around Australia. Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships. Follow Barbara on Twitter @barbclifford.