Working from home is an incredible opportunity if you can make it happen and when you have a business you run entirely in your home, it can make things difficult to separate your work life from your personal life around the home. There are a number of things that you can do in order to keep the balance. So here are some tips to have the right work-life balance when working from home.
Set Your Working Hours
Your working hours are flexible because you might not need to adhere to the usual working hours of 9-5. In fact, you might spend a few hours one day and then several hours the next. It’s completely up to you what hours you work because you are your own boss. However, what you don’t want to start doing is overworking too much and having a work schedule that’s extreme one minute and then very normal the next. So try to fix your working hours depending on the amount of work you have to prioritize for that day. There will be some days where you may need to tweak your hours, but for the most part, it should be a certain amount of hours each day.
This is important because it’s very easy as a freelancer or business owner to work all day and all night. And although that might make you more money, it’s not going to give you any form of social life. So, therefore, it’s important that you are setting yourself rules and having a capping point where you say enough is enough for the day and switch off.
Have a Permanent Space for Working
The space where you do your work is good to cement, otherwise, your whole home becomes your office. You may prefer to work in different sections of the home, but you do want to try and stick to one place. Ideally, you want an office environment where you can have modern office furniture that is comfortable and suits the space you have, with a simple desk and an ergonomic computer chair that can provide you with lots of support. Don’t just grab any old chair and table to use just because you are working from home.
Working on your laptop on the sofa in your living space or in the bedroom is going to distort what these rooms are used for, and you’ll start linking various emotions to those places that are meant to really be work-free zones. So try to stop yourself from doing this because you’ll otherwise find yourself craving to do work in these areas when it’s meant to be your time off to relax and not work. You also want to have a pleasant relationship with the spaces in your home, and you might end up hating these spaces if you relate them to your work.
Remember to Have Your Two Days Off
As a business owner or when you’re self-employed, we’ll naturally overwork ourselves. And this is because we have fewer perks than full-time jobs do. We don’t get sick pay or holiday pay, and that can make things difficult, especially when you are sick, or you want to go away for a while. It can really have a severe impact on your health if you’re working through sickness and not taking a good amount of time off work. So as a written rule, remember to have your two days off. This doesn’t need to be the weekend like everyone else, especially if a lot of your work and clients are available for weekend work. This could be one day here and one day later on in the week. Just ensure you’re keeping track of your days off and that you take your annual leave. There are many tips that will help you with your home-based business and taking a holiday and sick days when it’s needed is necessary.
Ask for Help When it Gets Too Much
No matter how hard we work, we simply cannot do everything that is asked of us. It’s not easy to do it all on your own, and as your business or freelance work grows, the amount of time you have stays the same. So, something needs to give at some point. As someone who runs their own work, you have the ability to ask for help yourself, and this might be through outsourcing the work to others or hiring a member of staff as part of the business. Either one is a big step to make, but it’s essential that you do this in order to help build your business or your client list. So no matter what you do as your job, work on getting additional help when it’s needed and start looking at what tasks might be taking up too much of your time and outsource it. Maybe it’s doing your taxes or handling your accounts. It might be pitching or a virtual receptionist to filter through and prioritize the emails that need answering the most urgently.
You’ll come to appreciate just how important it is to get help when you’re struggling and how much it can benefit you and your growth in the career you’re in.
Know Your Peak Times
No one has the ability to run at one hundred miles per hour for several hours. We all have those moments of procrastination, and we also have our most productive times. As you work from home, you will learn more about how you work, and therefore you can start to build your schedule around that time. Monitor your working day and think about those moments in the day where you find yourself becoming distracted. That might be the point where you switch up what you’re doing and maybe do something entirely different. This will help to take your mind off what is becoming a little mind-numbing. Maybe you have your lunch break then or do a little exercise. You should be taking some time to step away from your work at least five or ten minutes every hour or so to just walk around or to distract your brain. Again, no one can focus on something for hours because it will become boring. Know your peak times and entertain yourself during those times where you start to slow down so that you can get that work productivity back up again.
Ensure Your Household Understands The Working Time
When working from home, you may have to work at a time where other members of the household are in the property. And although they might know you’re working, they may still come in and distract you or ask questions. It’s important that you have an honest and serious conversation about your working time and that when you’re working, you shouldn’t be disrupted at any point. Other than when you may have breaks in the day, they should know when it’s ok and when it’s not ok to chat with you or to effectively stop you from working on something important.
Work On The Procrastination
Procrastination is normal, and we often do it when we’re bored. However, when we have deadlines to meet or work to do, we don’t always have that luxury. Therefore, it might be worth finding ways you can alleviate the boredom in bite-sized treats or maybe to block out distractions completely. There are apps you can get that can block certain sites that you find are distractions, particularly social media sites being the most common.
A work-life balance can be difficult to perfect, so don’t beat yourself up when you struggle to get that balance right. It can take time and a lot of understanding in terms of how you work.
This is a collaborative post.