Tips to Maintain Your Work | Life Balance
I think we can all agree that working from home is highly desired, but once you begin you may start to notice it’s easy to let it fall apart. Luckily, it isn’t really that hard to stay on track either. Working at home requires a bit more self discipline and dedication to yourself in order to not slip out of your ideal balance.
Have a separate working space
Not everybody has the luxury to have an actual home office, separate from everything with a door that can keep everybody else out. With that being said, it’s important you have some sort of boundary with yourself as to where and when you work.
If you’re super limited on space, a good idea could be adding a foldable/pull down desk to your bedroom. These kinds of desks mount to the wall and fold into its body for easy storage. Think Murphy Bed but a desk!
Or, if you have set time where you’re home alone (like when the kiddos are in school) take advantage! Go find the comfiest spot in the house and get some quality uninterrupted work done.
Get your equipment prepped
Do you work on a laptop? A great way to avoid throwing off your schedule with a dead laptop is by powering down & leaving it on the charger when you aren’t working. Also, think about if your job would be easier by having a 2nd or 3rd monitor? Or would having a wireless keyboard & mouse combo make it easier to navigate your computer?
Always make sure your computer software is up to date and that you have access to all the files or programs you may need. Would having Microsoft Office Pro make your document creation simpler?
Have a structured routine
One of the easiest ways to lose your work | life balance is by slipping out of your routine. In equal, having a structured morning routine is one of the easiest ways to maintain productivity at work and in life. Even though it requires a lot of effort and self control to stick to your routine, following a “normal” schedule is full of benefits.
Get up at the same time, get dressed, eat breakfast & begin your work day! Bonus points if you get in some physical activity as well. Doing these simple things each day will prepare you mentally and physically (by fueling & moving your body) to begin your day, in turn keeping your productivity high.
If you’re somebody who is used to interacting with other adults, this part of work from home may be difficult. But don’t worry, there are some ways you can help counter balance the quietness. If you’re working with an organization, make sure you’re connecting with your team through online chat softwares. Businesses put these together to help give their team a better sense of community virtually.
If you’re more independent of a worker, use your time off the clock to interact with your friends & family. Or, simply go take a walk and say hello, smile, or wave to people you pass along the way.
Know your weakness
There are certainly going to be struggles when you first start working from home, or if you’ve gotten off your routine (no stress, it happens). Instead of beating yourself up for having issues, think about ways you can help yourself out of it and back into your routine.
Getting distracted? Try keeping a notebook or have a dedicated virtual note where you quickly jot down a task you see or realize you need to complete later, then do it later. Practice self discipline and get back to work and refocus on what you were doing.
Get fresh air & natural light
Working from home can make it easy to never leave your house and hardly go outside. For me, this usually leads to insanity. It’s best to get outside and go for a walk or go stand in the grass but if that isn’t realistic, try to schedule 30 minutes one time a week to go on an outside walk and see what you can hear.
A lack of natural sunlight can do damage to your mental health, have you ever heard of seasonal depression? If this sounds familiar, try to schedule some time outside each day even if it's just while you drink some coffee.
Set realistic expectations
Don’t assume you can do the same workload you could in an office away from all distractions. Consider your workload and what kinds of distractions you’ll face. Do your best to schedule yourself to work on the tasks that need the most attention when you know you’ll have the least amount of distractions (aka an empty or sleeping house). Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t expect too much out of yourself.
Obviously if you’re going to work from home, you’ll be eating and drinking from home more. But, you’ll also be using more toilet paper and soap compared to if you’re working at an office away from the house.
Try to have snacks prepared already to save you some time when you’re supposed to be working.
Reap the rewards
Don’t be scared, it’s not all bad! Working from home definitely has its perks. Typically, you have a much more flexible schedule when working at home. You no longer commute to and from work, reclaiming that time as yours.
You have the freedom to schedule when you work, allowing yourself to take an afternoon nap or go enjoy a delicious meal before it gets too busy. Adjust your schedule to what suits you best, giving you the freedom to actually have your work | life balance.