How To Have A Good Work-Life Balance (From Home)
It’s crucial for people who work from home to know how to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Because when your workspace is the same as your living space, it’s easy to let the two worlds bleed together. And believe me, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Here is a short guide about why keeping a good work-life balance is so essential and how to do it.
RELATED: 7 Distractions When Working From Home and How to Avoid Them
- Why is Maintaining Work-Life Balance Important?
- 5 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance Podcasts
Why Is Maintaining Work-Life Balance Important?
If you don’t take the time to develop a good work-life balance, your life on both sides of the fence will be negatively affected in several ways. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Preventing Health Problems
It’s fairly common knowledge that working too much leads to a whole variety of health risks. Heart failure, strokes, and respiratory problems are just a few medical conditions much more likely in those that work only two or three hours a day more than their peers.
What most people don’t know is that staying in a work mindset has the same adverse health effects as working too long. So if you let work stay on your mind even after your workday is over, it could be seriously bad for your health
Getting Better Sleep
Stressing about work just before bed is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t get a good rest. Not only will you have trouble falling asleep, but the sleep you do get won’t be as restful.
You won’t get as much done at work as you’d like, and then your stress levels about work will only increase because of that. It’s a vicious cycle.
Your friends and family will appreciate the time you spend with them much more if you do not have your job in the back of your mind the whole time.
5 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Go Into “Work Mode” at the Start of the Day
Before you start work for the day, take a second to mentally transition from “home mode” to “work mode.” You need to reassess your priorities and your goals for the day quickly and remind yourself that you are going to work now.
An office worker might do this over a more extended period of time while they literally commute to work, but you have to recreate the process in your head. And you can sit there for 45 minutes if you want to, but I’d recommend trying to speed up the process too.
Maintain an “Office Routine”
DO NOT stay in bed and work in your pajamas all day, no matter what you may have heard about remote work possibilities in the past. You need to stimulate your mind by maintaining a healthy routine, just like you would do when working in a traditional office.
It’s a good idea to get up at a set time every morning, shower, dress in presentable clothes, and eat breakfast before heading to your job, wherever that may be.
Pick a Work Space
If you work in the same spot every day, your brain associates that space with work. And that makes you more focused and productive when working there.
It’s tempting for remote workers to continually change up their workspace since they probably don’t need much more than a laptop to work. It’s not a good idea, though, because it doesn’t allow you to build up an “office space” association with any of the spaces.
Alternating between two or three spaces is fine. Some people need to have some variety. But all of your areas should be well-suited for work.
Bonus tip: all of your office spaces should be separated from the rest of your home by a door, if possible. Having a physical barrier really helps to enforce work-life balance.
Make Clear Divisions in Your Schedule
Remote workers should definitely be scheduling their days rigidly, and their schedule items need to be clearly divided into “home” and “work” categories.
A nifty trick is to highlight home life activities with one color highlighter and work-life activities with another. This has two benefits. Firstly, it forces your mind into categorizing everything you do as either a 100% work- or home-oriented task. Secondly, it keeps you organized and allows you to see what’s coming up on your schedule at a glance.
Don’t Be On-Call
Most remote workers live by their smartphones, trying to respond immediately to every notification they get from clients. I recommend instead of putting your phone on silent while you’re off the clock and only checking it at designated times.
You should probably let your clients know about this plan so they can be aware of when to expect your replies. For example, you can add to your email footer that “I will check and respond to messages to this address during work hours and at 7 PM and 9 PM, Monday through Friday.”
Work-life balance can be very tricky for at-home workers, but it is a skill that needs to be mastered for health, happiness, and success. Hopefully, these tips will help start you down the right road.
IN THIS VIDEO, AUTHOR AND ENTREPRENEUR NIGEL MARSH GIVES SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS ON WHY WORK-LIFE BALANCE IS SO IMPORTANT AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAINTAIN IT! GIVE IT A WATCH AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ON OUR FACEBOOK!