Working from home can be stressful and can create burnout for employees especially in a time when we'e all working from home. Protecting your boundaries and staying organized are essential components to preventing burn out.
As an a RBT I didn't think I would ever be working from home but in times like these I am fortunate to be able to. Balancing work and home can be difficult and there are a couple of things I do to help prevent burnout.
FIRST, I like to review all the tasks I have for the day. I think it’s important to stay organized when working from home so that you can focus on high-benefit tasks and feel productive during the day. This can be done the old-fashioned way - writing down a list of tasks for the day and crossing them out at you go, or it can be done using technology and the many to-do list apps that are available at your fingertips. It's also key to identify what is work-related and what isn’t.
SECOND, working out has been incredibly beneficial for me. Working from home can limit your movement and have you stuck in the same place for such a long time especially if your “work space” is the same as your “rest space.” I don't have the option of working outside of my bedroom so after I’m done working I leave that area and work out. When I’m not working from home I’m constantly moving around, either with my clients or getting from place to place, so working from home was a drastic change to the regular movement of my lifestyle. I've found that building in movement breaks has helped break the monotony of sitting in front of a screen all day and has the added bonus of being good for my health!
THIRD, if you have the ability to set a designated area just for work in your home I would encourage you to do so. Oftentimes it is hard to distinguish working hours without having a place just to do work. Even if you don't have a home office, you can section off a portion of your living area by setting up a small desk or table and making it feel like a mini office. This way you're able to physically walk away from work and more clearly define your work/life balance.
FOURTH, taking breaks is critical. If you have the opportunity to take breaks in between clients I recommend you to take them. This break can be spent eating a snack, going outside for a quick walk, or simply just relaxing for a bit in another area. This little moment away from work allows you to be more productive and work more efficiently. If you don't have breaks built into your schedule, I encourage you to talk to your supervisor or scheduling manager and asking for mini breaks between clients.
LASTLY, take at least one day out of the week to recharge. Taking one day out of the week to switch off work can help you come back more refreshed and put you in a better mood. Plan something fun to do, spend time with your family, and if some new work related tasks pops up I would write it down and come back to it the next day.
These are some of the things I do to avoid burnout while working from home as an RBT. Overall, they've helped prevent burnout in a field that can be extremely taxing so I encourage you to take some of these preventative measures to support your own mental health as well!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shannis Asilis is a Registered Behavior Technician at The Language and Behavior Center, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Family Science. She has been working with children since 2013 in multiple settings including schools, homes and now online. Shannis believes it is important to take preventative measures to maintain balance and avoid burnout.