The work-from-home lifestyle has the potential to be one of the most empowering, uplifting, and positive out there. It allows you the freedom to structure your time in the way which most allows you to thrive, attend to your daily family obligations, and create space for relaxation.
When you’re working from home, you have the freedom to spend the morning research the ROI of MBA programs, the afternoon to early evening working, and the evening spent relaxing with your loved ones.
The only problem is that, when you’re working from home, the lines between your work and home life become tremendously more blurry than they would otherwise be. Poor-work-life balance is a major risk for all home-based professionals, and what initially started off as a dream, can quickly degrade into a nightmare if things aren’t set straight.
Here are some you can help to maintain proper work-life balance while working from home.
Establish an office space and do all your work there
Ideally, your “home office” will be an actual office — a room dedicated to your work, with a door that closes, and all the furnishings that allow you to do your job effectively, while also contributing to an overall sense of professionalism.
If, however, this isn’t possible for you at the moment — you must at least set aside a corner of your home which will serve as your workstation. You must do all your work here, and nothing but your work.
Having a set “working area” which is clearly distinct from the rest of your home, is a key step in preventing your work from spilling over into your private life, or vice versa. The last thing you want is to be double-checking a project while watching TV with your family, or ignoring your partner to organise your email inbox in bed.
Work to establish a clear time-management system
One of the major causes of work-life imbalance, is a lack of productivity during designated working hours, leading to a combination of guilt and necessity, which drives you to continue working during your private time, in order to catch up.
One of the best remedies for this problem, is to improve your time management skills, and successfully get yourself working at the right times.
To improve your time management, you need to work on tracking how you spend your time (perhaps using a service such as Time Doctor) while also taking practical, and modest steps, to improve your habits, bit by bit.
Coordinate your timetable with that of your family
When working from home, it is typically the case that you will have virtually unlimited freedom in how you structure your working day. The downside to this is that you may feel compelled to procrastinate until the last moment each day.
The upside to this, is that if you get a handle on your time and can exert some self-control, you can structure your day so that you work when your partner is at work, or your children are at school, and ensure that you have the greatest possible overlap of free time with your loved ones.
Balancing your timetable with your family is a great motivation to keep your work-life balance in order. You will quickly miss those late afternoon games and cuddles if you become complacent and let your timetable drift.