How Animators Can Avoid Work From Home Blues

Many people enjoy working from home. It can allow them to have more freedom, the potential to be creative, and control over their time. But on some days, even the most enthusiastic purporters of working from home can feel lonely and have the “work-from-home blues”.

Without making an effort to set boundaries between life at work and life and home, the two can be easily mixed up and can cause a lot of stress.

Keep reading this blog post to learn how animators like you can avoid the work-from-home blues.

1) Customize Your Workspace

Workspace at home

Image by Norbert Levajsics via Unsplash

To truly separate work like and regular life, you’ll need a designated workspace. Ideally, your workspace should be in a room where you can close the door and work in peace. As an animator, your state of mind and environment directly affect your performance when working on an animation project. 

If you don’t have an office room or studio in your house, you can still create a workspace where you can feel comfortable and work at your best by having a table and a comfortable chair.

Make sure your space is somewhere quiet and has minimal to no distractions. It should be where you work, not where you eat, sleep, and chat with friends.

Try to designate a workspace away from the tv, your bed, your family, or even your pet. Having a distinction between where you work and where you rest helps you get focused on working, and relax when it’s time to turn in for the night.

Your workspace should include your desktop computer or laptop, drawing tablet, papers, pens, and other things that you think are essential. You can also personalize your space with non-distracting things like photos or prints of quotes to inspire you while you work.

2) Dress Up

Woman having a phone call

Image by Magnet.me via Unsplash

What do you usually wear when you animate? Do you wear your pajamas the whole day? As tempting as it is to stay in bed and work in your pajamas, doing so will have a direct effect on your level of motivation.

Even if you work from home or havemeetings only via video call, make sure that you feel your best and look your best in order to perform at your best. Take a shower, get dressed, do your hair, and try to look like you should be feeling: motivated and ready for anything!.

Putting on clothes as if you were going to the office while working from home can help you get into the right mentality and motivate you to get to work.

3) Take Breaks Throughout the Day

Man taking a coffee break

Image by naipo.de via Unsplash

One of the best things about working from home is that you have more control over how you want to spend each day.

Unfortunately, with all the freedom you have, you may be more likely to procrastinate or accomplish less of your animation project after scrolling through social media or binge-watching on Netflix for hours.

On the other hand, you might be the kind of person who works all day and does not make time for other people or activities.

According to this report from Workplace Insight, a large portion (47%) of employees don’t take the recommended break from their desks every hour. This leads people to skip exercise or socializing, both of which are vital for a work-life balance. In order to keep your energy levels high, take a break from your screens every hour.

Jobilico says taking work breaks can help you be more productive, less stressed, and get better sleep so that you can perform at your best the next day. Drink some coffee or water, stretch, or walk outside for a few minutes as long as you get away from your screen.

3) Create a Daily Routine

Aside from taking breaks throughout the day in the middle of animating, make sure you have a work-life balance by creating your own daily schedule where you have time for work, family, hobbies, exercise, and other things that will help enhance your life.

It can sometimes be difficult to prioritize tasks well, especially when you have an overwhelming number of things to do. When you are in a studio or agency, everything you do is timed. While working from home, you don’t have to strictly work for 8-10 hours or more straight.

In this case, it’s best to make a to-do list that starts with the hardest tasks and ends with the easiest. Not only will making to-do lists help you keep track of what you have to do, but it can also help you check your productivity level.

4) Leave Your House

woman working in a park

Image by Christin Hume via Unsplash

If you’re feeling lonely or unmotivated while working at home, the best thing to do is to go somewhere else. You can work in a restaurant, cafe, park, or library or even just run some errands, like going to the grocery store, for a while.

Creative Boom suggests that if you’re not in the mood to work, you can go to museums and galleries to get inspiration. Take notes, videos, and photos as you go out.

You don’t have to force yourself to work if you’re not feeling like it and don’t have an immediately pressing deadline. A change of scenery can keep you creative and more energized when you do get back to work on your animation project.

5) Connect With Others

Women in a coworking space

Image by CoWomen via Unsplash

It’s easy to feel lonely or unmotivated when working from a non-traditional space. In order to keep you energized and not stressed, regularly chat, call, or have video calls with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Having phone calls and video calls will help you to stay more connected with them rather than using email or text messages.

You can also reach out to other animators via LinkedIn or Facebook Groups. Here you can find an accountability group that serves as a safe space.

The animators there will understand what you go through, and not just when it comes to challenges you encounter as an animator. Schedule regular lunch or coffee dates with them, happy hour times in the evening, or weekend getaways.

As much as possible, leave the house and socialize so that you won’t feel that isolated. Another way to connect with others is to find coworking spaces. You will get to meet people in the same position as you. 

People in these positions most likely feel the way you do and would be interested in chatting with you every once in a while when they take their work breaks. Coworking spaces are also great places to network and build long-lasting connections with people from a wide variety of industries.

6) Get Moving

Women in a yoga class

Image by Dyllan Gillis via Unsplash

When working from home, it’s easy to feel lazy or just keep working all day. This can actually affect your productivity and creativity, though. Create Cultivate suggests that you schedule short and long breaks in the middle of your daily routine.

To make the most of your breaks, make sure you include physical activities. Nothing is more important and effective for your brain and your body than working out. This can make you feel a lot better, feel refreshed, and promote blood circulation.

To ease any sense of loneliness you may be feeling, look into group classes or hit up a friend to join you for some exercise. If working out and doing high-intensity exercises isn’t your thing, you can do light exercises like yoga at home to keep your muscle flexible and your blood flowing.

7) Play Some Music

Speakers on a computer desk

Image by Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash

One of the good things about working from home is that you can play music whenever you want without any coworker or manager complaining. Music provides background noise which can increase focus, manage anxiety, and, ultimately,  improve your performance.

If you have a heavy workload, play some music that will keep you energized and set your pace as you meet your goal for the day. According to The Guardian, not everyone can handle music with lyrics playing in the background and might instead opt for strictly musical tracks.

Upbeat music can help you stay alert when doing repetitive tasks while music with lyrics can be a distraction for those doing cognitive work.

Wrapping It Up

Even though working from home comes with its downsides, it can be a beautiful thing if you make the most out of it. Create a daily routine, take breaks, set up your perfect workspace, look your best, listen to music, connect with others, and go outside to socialize in a different environment.

If you’re new to working from home, don’t worry about the work from home blues. If you follow these tips, you’ll surely enjoy your work from home setting, get creative, and stay motivated to accomplish your tasks.

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