Author Topic: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness  (Read 4682 times)

StarBright

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Hi All,

I'm usually a lurker but have a bit of a dilemma that I think Mustachians could have great advice for.

Long story short (ish) - I've worked for the same company for 10 years this year. Put in my time as an underpaid young'un on-site at the office (regular 60 hour weeks, some weeks up to 80 hours) and then when my husband decided to pursue his academic dreams was able to negotiate full-time work from home status in a different state. That was 7 years, two states and 3 homes ago.

Each subsequent move has found us in a slightly smaller home (hurray frugality) but due to time constraints our most recent move landed us in a small apartment where I'm working from the kitchen table all day. Due to the nature of my job I need to be in front of my computer from 8-5 (and at least a bit most evenings) and all of the sudden I'm feeling incredibly burned out.

I make good money but not great money - obviously some money is being sacrificed for the ability to keep my job wherever I need to move. My husband's current position is a one year contract so we could be moving in 11 months or else I would consider finding a new job. In the meantime - I know I'm keeping this job at least another year and likely another couple years.

Any tips for dealing with major major burn out and stir craziness? I've truly been a really good worker for the last 7 years but now all I want to do is slack off and cook and clean my house and work out, etc.

thanks!

AZDude

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 02:26:37 PM »
As someone who worked from home for awhile and then, stupidly, took a job that paid more but required a drive into the office, I have to tell you to *not* take working from home for granted. The commute, the office politics, the hassle of having nothing but a microwave to cook your lunch... all these things that I did not have to deal with suddenly have become the bane of my existence.

I envy you. Find a more comfortable place than the kitchen table. Be sure to use the extra time you have(seriously, you have at least two extra non-commute hours than the average worker) for social activity or at least getting out of the house.

Obviously I'm not you, so I dont know how flexible your employer is, but  chances are you have built up some goodwill over the years. I would sometimes leave the house and go for a walk, go fishing, go to a movie, whatever... just to get out of the house for a while during the day. Just limit it to about 2 hours max, and only when its a slow day. Hopefully you have enough common sense to know when that kind of thing is appropriate and when it is not.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 02:58:27 PM »
Yep I know the feeling.  Break up the monotony, especially since you're in a small place and can't have a dedicated area you only use for work.  Once a week work from a coffee shop with wifi.  Or depending on your cell phone plan, tether to your phone and pick different places.  The problem I had when I worked from home was being cooped up in the house all day then my gf would come home and want to cook dinner/hang out/etc, but by then I was going crazy and needed to get out of the house.  Going for a quick run after signing off for the day can help reset things in that regard.

The loneliness of working remotely caught me off guard, since I don't really socialize much at work and I'm introverted anyway.  Haven't yet figured out the solution to that.


FrugalZony

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 03:08:09 PM »
I work from home as well and consider it as one of the major perks of my job.
I do have colleagues however who do not like it.
One lives in a high COL area and is in a situation like yours, tiny place and working from the kitchen table.
She started going to a nearby university library to work. They have little cubicles for people to sit and study
and she works from there.
She says, she gets out of the house that way and it feels like going to work.
Could you do something like that?
Again, I am HAPPY for the work from home arrangement. It's one of the few things that keeps me holding on right now


lizzzi

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 03:28:38 PM »
Or does your public library have study rooms or cubicles?

Brilliantine

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 03:32:10 PM »
Do you live in an apartment complex? Do they have any common areas with Internet?

cparlette

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 03:41:42 PM »
When I was working from home, I set up a home gym with a squat rack and bench in my basement.  This way, I could work out during the middle of the day, but in between sets I could check in on the internal chat rooms, watch for email, and be available for work while still getting a good workout in.

G-dog

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 03:54:27 PM »
Vacation?
New site - as suggested above I was thinking of a library
Break up the day with short breaks.
Talk with your employer if there is someone you trust - how much flexibility can you get?

gaja

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 03:57:37 PM »
Some cities  have offices/cubicles/desks for rent for people who want to get out from the home while they work. Usually, you can rent one day a week, or a couple of days a month. After a few days, you might start to appriciate the luxury of the home office again. Or you might get confirmation that it is time to go back to a "normal" job.

Josiecat

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2015, 04:55:23 PM »
I work from home too, when I'm not at the customer's site.  Anyway, I just run up to the McDonald's to get a diet coke, or go get gas, etc.  Something that is quick, but gets me out of the house for a break.

Be thankful you have a wonderful, flexible company who is letting you do this.  I would make sure the next house has a lovely office space for you. 

LouLou

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2015, 05:16:55 PM »
Some cities  have offices/cubicles/desks for rent for people who want to get out from the home while they work. Usually, you can rent one day a week, or a couple of days a month. After a few days, you might start to appriciate the luxury of the home office again. Or you might get confirmation that it is time to go back to a "normal" job.

This was my thought.  Co-working spaces are all the rage in my city now.  If you are at a table (as opposed to a dedicated desk or private office), there is a very small monthly fee that usually includes internet.  You would have other working people to talk to, including interesting people who are starting their own businesses.  If I was in your position, I would go once or twice a week to mix things up.

Bearded Man

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2015, 06:26:24 PM »
I work from home mostly now, and I love it! Sooo much better than being in the office. I can work from home entirely if I want but I still go in once every other week or so to try to get info from water cooler conversation.

Gerard

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2015, 07:35:00 PM »
Can you take a five minute bike ride? I bet you'd accomplish more in the 55 minutes after you return than you would have if you'd worked the full hour.

lifejoy

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2015, 08:22:34 AM »

Thanks All!

Libraries are out because I have to be available for phone and skyping all day but maybe a coworking space would be doable. I always think of Co-working spaces as being start-up or artisan/"maker"specific so it wasn't really even on my radar but I will definitely look into them.

I also like the suggestion of just running out to grab a soda or something. I have a tendency to overwork and feel guilty when I step away from my phone/comp but I could probably get away with that.

It's nice to hear from other people that work from home - I'm the only one at my company so I always feel alone :)

Find a way to challenge yourself not to overwork :)

Maybe that would help with the burnout?

- make special good lunches
- hook your laptop up to a treadmill?

Dicey

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2015, 08:55:54 AM »
I was about to jump on the library pile until I saw your reply, so I've thought a little more... My next idea is to find space to rent in someone's house.

It would be :
- Walking/bicycling distance from your home
- Preferably the home of someone who is out working all day
- Not necessarily five days a week, three days might get you over this hump
- Clean and quiet
- Have a fast internet connection
- Have access to kitchen and bathroom

Who would do this?
- Anyone looking to make a little extra money, but doesn't want a FT roommate
- Someone with a pet that they don't want to leave alone all day. Seriously, people pay dog walkers to come get their mutt and walk them twice a day!
- Someone who doesn't want their home to sit empty all day
- Someone with a MIL unit, or guest house/cottage/suite who wants to keep it available for occasional company
- The family of someone who's getting on and lives alone who want to make sure they're okay

How would I find them?
- Word of mouth (i.e. friends and neighbors)
- CL, Nextdoor, Local FB Group
- Churches
- Realtors

If you include dog walking or checking on someone, you might be able to get the space free!
I worked from home before I was FIRE and I know I got tired of living and working in the same space. I wish I'd thought of this for myself. I know of several people who might have been game for this setup in exchange for a small amount of money or service. It might even be a tax deductible expense. The joy and frugality of working from home far outweighs any temporary frustration, so I hope you figure out something to get you past this rough spot. I hope this helps!



ShaneD

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2015, 09:15:41 AM »
Nthing all of the excellent advice above. Also, don't underestimate what just a few minutes outdoors can do for you. Doesn't even have to be running out for a soda: could just be taking a slow stroll (or quick laps, if that's preferred) around the outside of your building. Carry your coffee or even a glass of wine (the perks of home-work :) ), and enjoy the air and the movement.

Dicey

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Re: Dealing with work from home burn-out and general stir craziness
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2015, 08:11:40 PM »
Thanks, StarBright, I hope something works out!