If you work at home, or you’re thinking about doing so and want to be prepared, there are some things you need to know.
It can be hard to maintain your work-life balance when you don’t have a set schedule. Luckily, there are ways to make it easier to stay on track.
This guide will explore those ways.
With that said, let’s begin.
Effective Ways to Improve Work-Life Balance While Working from Home
1. Develop a Schedule and Commit to It
To set up a work-life balance schedule, you need to know your goals. For example, what do you want to accomplish in a given week?
Once you’ve answered that question, create an outline of how much time each task will take. And make sure it fits into the rest of your schedule. If certain things need more time than others, use the extra time.
Also, remember that unexpected things can happen at any time. So make sure that everything gets covered when they do.
For example, adjust accordingly if something comes up late on Friday afternoon and takes longer than expected. You can do that by taking less time off during the next work week or cutting back elsewhere.
2. Take 10-Minute Breaks
Usually, it’s common to have water breaks, coffee breaks, and other similar breaks when working in the office. But research shows that people working from home often feel bad when they take breaks.
However, breaks are essential, and here’s why: telecommuting comes with unique stressors. So taking periodic breaks can help stop this stress.
Below are a few ways to decrease the stress of working from home:
• Set an alarm to remind you to go for a walk
• Prepare a snack for you and the kids, or play with the dog.
• Spend five minutes on the phone chatting with a friend or coworker.
These activities can help you energize the brain and help the body if you work from home.
3. Set Boundaries
The problem with having no boundaries, or being unclear about them, is that it’s impossible to tell your colleagues what you need. If you don’t know where your work stops and the rest of your life begins, your colleagues won’t either.
Also, if your colleagues don’t know when it’s appropriate to contact you, they won’t respect your boundaries when the time comes.
So set limits on how often people can contact you. And be clear about when is the right time you’re available. This can help you focus on your work and avoid distractions.
4. Use Notifications as a Reward System
If you’re working from home, you may have become used to using notifications to keep up with your work. But this can be a powerful distraction that can cause you to lose focus on the tasks.
Notifications are often used as a reward system. When they appear, we’re drawn in and want to know more. You can get caught up with a news update, which can be hard to resist. As a result, your productivity suffers from this distraction.
The best way to see notifications is as candy. It’s something nice but not super important that comes along occasionally. It’s better than seeing notifications as an integral part of your working day and needing to respond every time.
Treat yourself by checking them occasionally throughout the day if you feel like doing so. However, don’t allow yourself access all day long.
5. Figure Out Some “Me Time” That Really Works
Most people usually listen to music, read or catch up on the latest news as they go to work. But the “me time” can get compromised when you work remotely. And that can lead to stress, even though you might have had a productive day.
But there are a few ways you can make this work:
• A thirty-minute workout
• Doing something you enjoy and devoting 15 to 20 minutes daily to learning more about it.
• A cup of tea or coffee and a quick 15 minutes of reading time.
Don’t be afraid to take a break. You can use time tracking software to make sure you become productive and maintain a work-life balance.
You still need time away from work to focus on things other than your job. And it doesn’t matter if the commuting time is less than when you worked in the office.
6. Avoid Multitasking
There are two pieces of advice you’ve probably heard repeatedly: “Don’t multitask” and “Take breaks.” And while these tips seem simple enough, they don’t always make sense when you’re in the middle of a busy week.
So why do we keep hearing them? That’s because multitasking really does make us less productive. And it has negative side effects on our creativity, health, and ability to focus on tasks.
Also, some people think they get more work done when they do multiple things at once. But this isn’t true. In fact, even if you successfully juggle multiple projects at once, research shows that this type of behavior increases stress levels in the body and brain.
This means more stress hormones flow through your system. And it’s not ideal if you’re trying to avoid burnout.
If you’re struggling with work-life balance, the best thing to do is take a step back and look at the big picture. Can you make small changes? For example, do you need more sleep or activity outside of work?
And most importantly: what do you value most in life? We all have things we care about, and then there are those things we don’t want to compromise on.
Reflecting on these questions is worth taking time every month or week. That can help you plan well and maintain a work-life balance.