Finding a balance between work, kids, friends, laundry, solitude, what Netflix film to watch, and the rest – can seem like a challenge of epic proportions. But, finding that work-life balance from home can be as simple as these five steps.
Compartmentalise Your Space
The space is limited for many of us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t outline areas of your flat/home for working and resting. Here are some examples of how to do it:-
- Working Space – It may take some jigsaw rearrangement of your furniture to outline a fantastic spot to work in. Firstly, you need to create an office, whether that office is in your living room or kitchen. Or if you need some quiet, a bedroom may be your only option. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a good chair, a reasonably high up desk, and room for your work essentials.
- Files/ Documents/ Essentials – Organising files, calendars, to-do lists, and the usual essentials is a game-changer. It might seem ludicrous to get the labels out and start labelling everything, but it will help with your day-to-day ease. Having all the things you need at reaching distance will also help you feel like you’ve created an office environment in the corner of your room.
- Resting Space – Just as important as separating your workspace is splitting a place to rest from work. Again, you might be limited to one room, but something as simple as putting a rug under your desk. And candles or plants near your resting spots can help differentiate between the two.
The Joy of a Window Desk
No matter where you’ve designated your office space to be, there’s something extraordinary about having a window desk. Speaking from experience, a window desk is well worth the hassle of moving bits of furniture. Working with a view of the sky, road, garden, whatever your view, will bring more joy to your work.
It’s not a necessary step, but according to Psychology Today, where you decide to work matters, and that outside of home workspaces might even be beneficial. one that will give you greater satisfaction and make you feel like you’re getting more vitamin D goodness. Whether it does or not depends on your windows.
Timing is Everything
The typical workday – you get up, most likely shower, get dressed, walk, bike, or drive to work. You spend a few hours working, then at twelve, you have some lunch, back to getting your tasks done, and finish.
Anyone working from home will know that this looks more like – you roll out of bed, remain in your pyjamas, work, forget that it’s lunchtime, and continue to work until you realise it’s dinner time.
For obvious reasons, this is not an excellent schedule for your work-life balance. To reduce that feeling of burnout, you need to have a similar work schedule as to when you were in the office. No, that doesn’t mean you need to get up and drive around the block, but maybe an early morning walk could help you prepare your thoughts.
To Get Dressed, or To Pyjama-It?
Getting dressed will help you feel more productive and professional when getting the work done. It will also help you get out of work mode when you’ve finished at the end of the day. Here is why sticking to a schedule and getting ready for work will be a benefit:-
- Work state of mind – The simple act of getting dressed is underestimated. It can improve our confidence and give us that sense of purpose.
- Keeps us in a good routine – Human’s are creatures of habit, so setting alarms for your lunch break and finishing times can help you disconnect work from downtime. Having to-do lists can help you stay on track of tasks, and again, set an end of the work day time.
- Helps negate procrastination – Ever had the thought maybe I’ll watch another YouTube video and then get back to work? Only to find yourself in a meme review rabbit hole? The biggest challenge when working from home is procrastination.
But put the phone away or on silent (unless you need it), turn off your Wi-Fi and work offline. If you are unlucky enough to require both for work, then practice setting specific times for you to enjoy a procrastination moment.
Take Short Breaks Throughout The Day (If Possible)
People who take short breaks, or microbreaks throughout the day can work with more joy, and more successfully. Try taking a ten-minute break every hour or half-hour and see if you notice an improvement in your work. Perhaps the regular hour lunch break isn’t your thing, and short breaks will increase your productivity.
It’s about trial and error – and discovering your best workflow.
Quick Tips for Maintaining Work-Life Balance at Home
Finally, here are some top tips for maintaining a work-life balance to keep your workflow fun, exciting, and your rest time relaxing:-
- Talk to people on breaks, whether that’s family, friends, or an online community. Don’t get the solitude blues – unless you are an introvert that loves ‘me time.’
- Make sure to get office equipment either from work or of your own accord. Nothing is worth back pain, wrist pain, or body pain in general – get gear that will avoid downtime.
- If you work with the internet, you may need to invest in better wireless. Especially if your home has many floors.
- Research “at home office” designs to get some inspiration for a layout (If you have an interest in interior design and have the time and money)
- Get a good work lamp; if you prefer the night owl hours, invest in a good lamp to avoid squinting through the dark.
- If you have a problem with non-stop work snacking, invest in some child safety locks. It won’t keep you out but might do the trick in reminding you to avoid it.
- Get familiar with Zoom, as the rise in funny videos has boomed, of people failing to use Zoom properly. Remember to dress appropriately for your meetings, practice how to use it with friends or family first, and don’t worry about those awkward disconnection moments.
- Lastly, ignore all this advice. At the end of the day, if you’ve found a routine that works for you that doesn’t follow any of this advice, then keep doing you. It’s your home and your work-life balance.
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