How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance at Home
When you’re working from home, your professional and personal life can easily smear into one stressful blur. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance depends a lot on your ability to set boundaries and know when you need to ask for help. Here are a few tips to strike a better balance:
1. Set Your Hours
One of the first steps is to draw clear lines around how you use your time. Start by making a schedule and deciding when you’ll “clock in” and “clock out” – just like you would at a regular office. This will increase productivity because when you have specific times for work, rest and recreation, you’re giving yourself limits to only work within the confines of a particular set of hours and you’re essentially telling yourself how you’re going to use the time you have. Once you decide on your schedule, write it out or make a spreadsheet, then put it up where you can see it. Aim for consistency, but also allow for the occasions when something that isn’t on your schedule needs to be a higher priority.
2. Make Space
Next, designate a physical space for your work activities. It could just be your desk or perhaps you can set aside a whole room. Keep it organized and clean, as material clutter often makes your mind feel cluttered as well. If you don’t use your phone for work and think that it might become a distraction, turn it off or silence it. Consider even putting it in a place where you can’t see or easily reach it. Also, figure out what sort of workspace helps you be as productive as possible. Do you like having a view or do passersby distract you? Do you need a quiet space or do you work best in a “common area”? Taking these considerations into account will help your space be a welcoming place for work.
3. Get Support
Working at home can be lonely, especially if you don’t live with other people. Sometimes you need a little extra support to achieve your professional and personal goals, and even more importantly, sustain your mental and emotional health. Ask family members or friends for accountability. Maintain open, honest communication with your manager. Let your employer know if you’re overloaded with work and need some of your tasks to be delegated to your coworkers. You may also benefit from sessions with a life coach or counselor, just to have someone to check in with you on a regular basis and make sure you’re doing alright.
Improving your work-life balance takes time and effort, but in the end, you’ll be a better you – both on the job and when you’re not.