When you work from home, it can quickly begin to feel like you're always on the clock. The division between your work life and home life tends to get blurry. 

Most people end up working longer than they used to at an office. This is understandable as they want to do a good job and be productive while working at home, but at what cost?

Mental Health

It's important to consider your mental health instead of just productivity and results. At the office, you likely took more breaks during the day, had some quiet time while commuting, chatted with co-workers, had coffee or lunch breaks, and definitely took your vacation days. However, many people don't get those things when working from home, which can significantly affect your physical and mental health.

Benefit of Breaks

The lack of breaks from your work will affect your focus, concentration, and overall productivity. A 2011 study conducted at the University of Illinois, found that even brief breaks or diversions from an important task were enough to improve a person's ability to focus. This means that you don't need to take long breaks at a time but can take a number of short breaks throughout the day. 

Commute Time

Take advantage of the time that you previously used to commute to work. You weren't working during that time then, so why work during that time now? Instead, do something just for you. It doesn't matter whether you read a book or newspaper, enjoy your coffee, meditate, take a walk, or exercise. All that matters is that you don't spend that time working.

Schedule Breaks

Scheduling break times into your workday is a great way to ensure that you actually take them. Set a schedule, and then make sure that you stick to it. During these breaks, you should step away from the computer, move your body and stretch and perhaps even get some fresh air outside.

Vacation Days

You can still use those 'vacation days.' You don't even need to go very far. Try doing something new and exciting such as taking an online course to learn a new language or start a craft project. 

You can even spend the time relaxing or go a drive. There are likely plenty of local tourist sites that you've never visited. Research what interesting attractions are close by such as parks, historical sites, entertainment areas - you may be surprised at what you find.

There really is no need to feel guilty about taking time off when working from home. You would naturally take breaks, sick days, vacation days, weekends, and more while working at the office. Therefore, it's just as important, if not more, so when you're working from home.