When working from home, it’s very difficult to maintain a proper work-life balance. Let’s face it: it’s quite easy to continue working throughout all hours of the day and neglecting family responsibilities, while it’s also tempting to sit in front of the television during the day and not getting any assignments completed on time.
It’s imperative to get work done but also have time for yourself and family. Experts say it’s crucial to your health:
“A lot of people are having a more difficult time finding balance in their lives because there have been cutbacks or layoffs where they work. They're afraid it may happen to them, so they're putting in more hours," psychologist Robert Brooks told WebMD. "But even if you don't have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life? Focus your time and attention on things you can control."
For those who have just started working remotely, finding the right work-life balance is a difficult thing to accomplish. There are a variety of things that a person can do, but here are some tips to achieving the best work-life balance possible when working at home and earning a living.
Establishing a schedule is an important asset to have because it allows remote workers to have a daily routine. Each schedule can be accommodative to your lifestyle, but it’s absolutely important to follow it. A schedule should have a few elements:
- How many hours are you expecting work today?
- What do you have to complete today? Are there any deadlines?
- When will you take your breaks and when will you finish?
Once the schedule has been outlined, place it next to the computer and check off each task and break. Alternatively, check out these top 10 apps for improving your scheduling. Many of you may find using an app more efficient to your day. Overall, a schedule will turn out to become a telecommuter’s best friend.
Working on the sofa in front of the television? Wearing pajamas and getting work completed on the bed? Consider wearing something that one would normally wear at the office and establish a special space of the home dedicated to work. It’s nice once in a while to sit at the kitchen table or on the sofa to work, but it can’t be a regular habit. These are spaces specified for non-work.
Diet & Exercise
A lot of work-from-home employees tend to complain about not maintaining a balanced diet or getting enough exercise. This is why each person should disconnect from a computer during mini-breaks and lunchtime by going for a brief walk, eating a healthy meal and stretching. Instead of staring at a computer for eight hours straight, put the computer to sleep and go outside for 15 minutes.
Once the work of the day is completed then be sure to have downtime. What this means is that when everything is done don’t check email, don’t check for phone notifications and don’t get any extra work done (only if an hour or two was missed during the day because of a family engagement). Essentially, unplug all devices and refrain from taking the smartphone, tablet or laptop to the bedroom.
It can be easy to fall into that pattern of constantly working at all hours of the day.
At certain times of the year, freelancers are swamped with work, whether it’s an article, SEO project or graphic design. When this happens, consider outsourcing some projects to others. By doing this, it frees up time, improves the quality of the other work and health won’t be in any jeopardy (stress, back pains, eye fatigue).
Indeed, it’s understandable that many freelancers refrain from this because of the few slow periods during the year, such as in the months of January, August and December. This can be avoided by creating a budget and sticking to it.
Take the Holiday
Working from home doesn’t necessarily equate to working 16-hour six- or seven-day weeks. One of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility. This means instead of working Wednesdays, a telecommuter can work Saturdays. The same can be applied to holidays: instead of taking off Good Friday, a remote worker can instead have Easter Monday off. The most important thing to remember is to actually take the holiday off (or perhaps accumulate those days and take a week or two off in the summer or throughout the slowdowns).
Establish a Rhythm
Do you work the best in the mornings or in the afternoons (or evenings)? Are there easy and difficult projects on your desk? Consider working on the hardest ones during the best periods of the day and stick to it. By creating a rhythm, it makes working from home a lot easier and more efficient.
Are you a seasoned work-from-home employee? Are you just starting out? Let us know in the comment section.