Remotely Interesting

Remotely Interesting: Feeling overwhelmed?

Published about 3 years agoΒ β€’Β 4 min read

As a majority of people have transitioned to remote work this year, there are certain negative comments that come up over and over: "I love remote work, but I'm struggling with boundaries between my work and personal life. I used to use my commute to relax, now I can't turn off my brain." Let's talk about this. Starting with, you don't need a commute you need a ritual.

We've spent a long time having our job choose our life - where we live, who we spend our time with, and how we work. Switching to remote can be exciting at first because, suddenly, we have tons of freedom. But then the overwhelm kicks in. Endless options and the newfound responsibility to take action on them by ourselves can be disconcerting.

Here are 3 tips to help you work through this:


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Step 1: Make the choice before you're in the moment

Having frameworks for how to make a decision before you are in the moment makes a huge difference. In the moment, you are usually short on time, heavily influenced by emotion, and your focus is pulled in many directions. By setting up a framework before being in the moment, you create an environment where you can make choices intentionally and quickly. Instead of being overwhelmed by possibilities or defaulting to what is easiest, you know what values to pay attention to.

One example of this is defining the meetings you will accept. By establishing that you will only accept x meetings per day, during y hours, and only after determining if it is in the best format, you make the decision before the random invite has even hit your inbox.

Another example is defining when it is acceptable to quit, before even beginning the endeavor. I shared more about this here. Since seeing the value of decision frameworks, I've created them for almost every area from where I spend my day working to whether I say yes to an opportunity.


Step 2: Trial your options

You've been working one way for a very long time. You probably don't know what all of your options are and definitely don't know whether they are right for you. Talk to others about how they are working differently. Also, use resources like my '10 Questions to Find Out if You’re Taking Full Advantage of the Benefits of Remote Work' to see what's out there. Then give yourself space to trial different types of work.

You might try out different working hours or places to work. Don't write anything off just because you've never tried something like it before. It might be exactly what you need. While trialing out the different options, keep track of what works and what doesn't. This will be valuable information when creating additional decision frameworks in the future.


Step 3: Put less pressure on your decision

A decision today doesn't mean a decision forever. Remember, you are in the driver's seat now. You no longer have to go through another awful job search when you want to move to a new area or be around new people. You can stay in your current position while changing things around you.

Also, keep in mind that every decision doesn't need to be made overnight. You have a lot of opportunities now to design the lifestyle you want, but all of those changes don't need to happen immediately. Pause. Learn about yourself and take one intentional step a day. You'll reach the top of the mountain in no time.

Don't fall into the traps of making decisions because that's the way everyone else is doing it or that's the way you've always done it before. Through being intentional, you have the power to optimize for a better everyday life. Use these tips to kick aside the overwhelm, and embrace the excitement.



We've spent a long time having our job choose our life. Remote work brings newfound freedom, but also overwhelm.
Make the choice prior to the moment, trial your options, and put less pressure on your decisions, to reduce overwhelm and embrace the excitement.
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Quote of the Week

"Lifestyle-first: When you start with your preferred lifestyle, and then you try to find enough work to sustain it.
Career-first: When you start with your dream career, and then you try to fit your lifestyle around your work.

If you're on the 2nd path, worth reconsidering." ​
Daniel Vassallo​


In Other News

​How I Quit 70% of My Zoom Calls​

Colin Treseler, the founder of Supernormal, describes how he reviewed his meeting schedule to find inefficiencies, took action, and started looking forward to his meetings again.

Screenshot from linked article


​'I don't have to choose between lifestyle and career.' ​

Different workers describe how remote work changed their lives forever.

Man working from an outdoor desk setup

​The Art of the Desk Setup​

Arun Venkatesan, the founder of Carrot, uses his background in design to explain his intentional choices behind his desk setup.

Desk setup



How do you deal with eye strain while working from home?

I have several proactive measures in place to reduce eye strain:

  1. Utilize blue light blocking tools - I have f.lux downloaded on my computer and Twilight on my phone. These tools automatically adjust my screens brightness and colors to match the time of day.
  2. Wear blue light blocking glasses - I have a prescription pair that I wear as an additional layer of protection. I notice a big difference when I wear them vs. my regular glasses. My favorites are from Felix Gray.
  3. Use fitness reminders to introduce breaks - No matter what you do, if you stare at a screen for 8+ hours straight, your eyes are going to be uncomfortable. I get auto reminders from my Oura Ring when I haven’t moved in a while. I use these to not only stretch, but also give my eyes a screen break.

Are you struggling with something around the future of work? Reply to this email with your question and whether you'd like to be anonymous. Your question might be picked to be answered in the next newsletter!


I always love to hear from you! What did you think of this issue? What should I share about next? Feel free to reply to this message or DM me on Twitter @mar15sa.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this. Hope you have a lovely day!



Remotely Interesting

9-5, Monday-Friday, in-person office work are all relics of the past. This thoughtful newsletter helps you reflect on your current way of life and create actionable steps for a more intentional future. Let's revolutionize how you live by changing how you work.

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