“You work from home, that’s amazing!” Everyone who works from home has had this response before. And while working from home does sound amazing and does have its benefits, finding the right balance between home-life and work-life can be tricky. Not having a balance can result in not enough work not being done, or having a burnout. This article applies to both freelancers, and those employed but working from home who are struggling to find the right balance.
Create a space just for work
Having a designated space for work is extremely important. Whether it’s an actual office, the spare bedroom, or even a section of the living room, having a comfortable and functional working space makes a big difference in our mindsets for starting and ending the day. Sitting down in this space lets the brain know that it’s time for business. To create the balance we want, It is important not to do work in other areas of the house and not to do personal things in the workspace.
A morning buffer
Jumping straight into work from the moment we open our eyes is the worst thing we can do. This will more than likely result in a really long workday. Six am to six pm five days a week will definitely result in burnout. In a normal job, we get up, get ready, and commute. This sets our minds into work mode and prepares us for the day. Start the day by creating a buffer. As appealing as working in our pajamas sounds, it’s not ideal for a productive day. Have a shower and get dressed as if going to work. Attend a morning gym session or yoga class. Do whatever feels right to create a transition from a home mind to a work mind for the day ahead.
Create a schedule like that of an office environment. A set time to start, designated breaks, and a set time to finish the day. Having a set amount of hours in which to complete the necessary work will ward off procrastination and ensure that enough gets done during the day. During these hours, the housework and cooking must take a back seat. Taking the designated breaks is also crucial. Get up and have a cup of coffee or lunch in another room. Eating while working does not allow the brain to re-energize. Getting up for regular stretches and walks to the bathroom is also important.
Shut down when the day is done
When four or five pm rolls around and it’s time to end the day, shut down the PC, walk away from the desk, and don’t look back. Now it’s family time. Too often we are sucked into working far more hours than we should. The work will still be there tomorrow. If we have put in the right effort during the day, there’s nothing to feel guilty for by not working in the evening.
Having a good balance between work and home life is so important, and following these steps will help to get you to that goal. We suggest planning weekend activities that involve socializing and getting out of the house. Being at home day in and day out can quickly lead to cabin fever and depression.