Working from home is truly a perk of today’s technologically-advanced society, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. When there’s no need to leave your home in the morning to go to the office, it can be too easy to lose sight of the line that separates your work from your free time. Fortunately, everything’s possible with the right mindset and a healthy dose of willpower! The following tips will help you balance your professional and personal lives so that you can stay on top of things efficiently and confidently when you work from home.
A Home-Based Job Is Still a Job
In order to take a step in the right direction towards achieving balance in your life when you work from home, understand that you have an actual job. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean your profession and responsibilities are in any way less important. You’re not taking a break, and you’re not doing homework for school; you’re working and the location of your office happens to be at the same address as your home.
In that respect, treat your workday just like you would if you were somewhere else. Complete your tasks one after another, take short and meaningful breaks when necessary, and have one longer break for lunch.
A Comprehensive Schedule Makes All the Difference
When you work from home, having a schedule of your tasks, responsibilities, and plans can help you organize your time better. This also includes the things you should do in your free time. We have already discussed this when talking about how to achieve a healthy work-life balance in general. But the practice turns even more helpful and important when your workplace is also your home.
Start out by creating a to-do list of your work-related tasks together with a schedule. This will leave you with room for planning out the rest of your day. There are plenty of planner apps that can turn out rather useful in this case as well.
It’s easy to manage bigger things, such as going to a birthday party or meeting with friends after work. The actual issue can turn out to be the small things, such as preparing lunch, doing the laundry, fixing a shelf, and so on. So keep in mind that the best thing you can do in this case is – nothing. You wouldn’t wash the dishes in a company office so don’t do that at your home office either – not until the workday is over.
And if you find that cooking lunch can be a bit problematic, as it takes too much time from your lunch break, why not try meal prepping? Cooking all of your lunches for the workweek ahead isn’t complicated in the slightest, and you can get down to it every Sunday.
Dress Appropriately for Your Job
In order to effectively balance your professional and personal lives when you work from home, you have to separate the two in your subconscious mind as well. The best and easiest way to do so is to dress appropriately for work.
Just because you’re not leaving your home doesn’t mean you have to spend all day in your pajamas or sweatpants. Of course, you could, but then you’d be sabotaging yourself right from the get-go. The clothes you wear affects you greatly, even though you may not be aware of it. Working in your lounging clothes will make it difficult for you to concentrate and reach your productivity peak, much like you wouldn’t be able to relax and unwind during your free time in a formal getup.
Although it’s not necessary to dress in a business suit when you work from home, at least make sure you’re dressed well enough that you wouldn’t mind going out for coffee.
Forget About Work Once You Clock Out
To achieve the ideal work-life balance with a home-based job, you have to remember that you have the right to zone out and do your own thing once your work hours are over. Just like there’s a danger of treating your remote job too lightly, there’s another extreme – you could easily make everything about work.
This is why the mentioned scheduling is so important. And if you want to remain healthy and happy, you simply have to use your free time to indulge yourself, among other things. Do the things you love and enjoy: engage in hobbies, meet with family and friends, watch TV, read a book, or anything else that may help you relax and recharge after a long day. Most importantly, get up and away from your home office desk. If you want to surf the Web, take your laptop with you to your bed or sofa, or do so on your phone/tablet.
A great help in finding that balance in your personal and professional lives will be your work-from-home office. It’s important to designate an area for it that can be easily separated from the rest of your home, even if that only entails turning your back to distractions or using a simple screen. After all, a proper home office organization can effectively increase productivity.