How to Fix That Work-from-Home Rut

This post is contributed by Ann Lloyd from Student Savings Guide

Working from home offers the ultimate in convenience, but during this pandemic, the repetition can make your life feel more monotonous than ever. For months we’ve avoided human contact as much as possible, many going without hugs and kisses from family and friends. Most of our social outlets are shut down — even casual conversations.  

In this isolation, it might feel as though all we have left is work. But no matter how much we wish things would go back to the way they were before the pandemic, we have to accept the fact that we’re stuck with these conditions for the time being. 

The good news is, as we continue to define this “new normal,” there’s no reason to stay stuck. If you find yourself falling into a work-from-home rut, here are some things you can do to cope. 

Establish Healthy Habits

No matter what’s going on in your life, self-care is important. Not only does it help us to live our best lives, but it also boosts our self-esteem and overall health. And that’s especially important when we’re all working to prevent infection.

Even the most basic daily health habits can make a world of difference. For example: drink water (usually more than you think you need), eat nutritious food, get plenty of sleep, make sure to exercise daily, try to log off all screens for a while, and get in some recreational downtime (especially if it’s outside). 

These activities can keep your body healthy, which helps your mind stay energetic and active to keep you out of a rut. By taking the time to establish healthy habits like these, you can create a self-care regimen that keeps you in peak condition and improves your quality of life in general. 

Create a Designated Workspace

Another great way to get out of a rut is by creating a designated workspace, which allows you to establish boundaries between your personal and professional lives. Try sectioning off an area of your home to be used exclusively for work, at least during working hours. Whenever you venture outside of this area, you’ll be giving yourself permission to focus on other things. 

You’ll want to set specified working hours, too — and stick to them. For instance, if you decide that you’ll only be working between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., for instance, then make it your business to avoid all work-related tasks outside of those hours. 

Take Care of Your Home

You’re spending more time in your house than ever before, and now your livelihood also depends on its smooth running. Make sure all areas of your home are properly serviced and maintained. 

Is it time to have your furnace or HVAC system cleaned or serviced? Maintain your major appliances, too, such as your stove, refrigerator, washer, and dryer. Regular maintenance is a proven way to prevent unexpected expenses and fees. 

Still, breakdowns are bound to occur, so make preparations for them, as well. For instance, consider purchasing a home warranty. Then you can be secure in the knowledge that, even if you do have a serious issue, it’s covered under your policy, and you won’t miss days of work dealing with it!

Revamp Your Online Persona

Looking for an engaging project to help you combat boredom, one which also can help you attract new professional associates (and maybe even new friends)? Manicure your social media profiles! Take the time to review your social media presence and make changes as necessary. 

Go through your profiles and pages to delete unnecessary pictures, get rid of outdated posts and tweets, update links and lists, etc. By doing so, you’ll be giving your virtual persona a fresh start, which besides freshening up your perspective on yourself, also might lead to new opportunities in the future. 

Fix Your Finances

If you’re in a rut, take some time to check your finances. It might sound demoralizing, especially if you have less money than you want (and who doesn’t?). But in reality, proactivity is its own reward, and nothing livens up your mindset like knowing you can take control of your money. 

Consider opening a savings account, finding ways to cut your spending, and paying off debts. If you’re having issues with your credit, now is a great time to start working toward building it up. Bolstering your credit will give you more financial freedom and create a safety net you can use if you face an emergency in the future. 

Learn a New Skill

Another great way to get out of a rut is by improving your skillset. Whether you want to learn a new language, tackle web design, figure out how to drive a stick shift, or practice public speaking, learning a new skill will give you something to focus on and maybe even allow you to pursue new professional opportunities. 

Although it might feel like it right now, we won’t be stuck in our homes forever. Similarly, working from home under these conditions does not have to mean you’ll be stuck in your current position or sector forever. Now is an excellent time to start learning skills that can help you forge a new path in both your personal and professional life. 

There are plenty of things you can do to pull yourself out of your work-from-home rut. Now’s the perfect time to focus on your health, your finances, and personal growth. No matter which methods you choose, reach for activities that have a positive effect on your life and help you envision and create a more fruitful future.  

Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.