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5 Ways to Improve Work-Life Balance While Working from Home
The best way to keep your work and private life separate is by designating a specific work area
When the company finally allowed you to work remotely, you rejoiced because remote work means more time for your private life. Enjoying brunches with your friends, binge-watching the latest Netflix TV shows, and sleeping until noon are just some of the things that crossed your mind.
Still, a few months into work from home, you realized you can’t properly balance work and life anymore. The boundary that kept them separate got a lot thinner or it was gone completely. You could definitely use some tips on how to get your private and professional life back on separate tracks. Take a look at our suggestions.
Switch Off After Working Hours
In the office, when the clock strikes 5, you know it’s time to go home. When you work from home, laptops, tablets, and smartphones are always around you, so it’s much harder to unplug when you’re done with work.
Besides, during remote work, your house or apartment becomes your whole world. It’s both your safe heaven and workplace. If you live alone, hours and days can go by without you talking to anyone face-to-face. Living this way is unhealthy.
What you can do to strike balance between work and private life is to take breaks as often as you need to and remember to switch off after working hours. For example, instead of drinking coffee while you work, meet friends at the nearby coffee shop and enjoy every sip of it. When you finish work for the day, turn off your laptop, and try not to check your inbox for new emails or messages. Try to devote your attention to your hobbies, family, and friends, and unwind after a long day at work.
Designate a Specific Work Area
The best way to keep your work and private life separate is by designating a specific work area and using it only for work and nothing else. This means you shouldn’t use your bed or dinner table for a home office. If you do, you will either fall asleep in the middle of the task or video conference or crave food and snacks all the time. Instead, you can put a desk and a chair in any room and draw a boundary with chalk or paint that separates your workspace from the common one.
Most remote workers find this trick helpful. Whenever they cross the line and sit behind their desk, they get into a work mindset and focus on their task ignoring everything else around them. On the other hand, when they leave the designated workspace, they immediately leave work behind and focus on relaxing.
For this to have a full effect on your productivity and balance, you have to keep only a few things in the home office. Those things include a laptop or tablet with a communicative tool, such as the intranet, a notepad, a comfortable chair, and a bottle of water so you can stay hydrated.
Start Your Day Right
The way you start your day sets the tone and mood for the rest of the day. That is why you should follow your morning routine to set yourself up for a productive and fulfilled day.
Some people like to jog first thing in the morning, while others like to take a long shower followed by a light breakfast and a cup of coffee. Find what works out the best for you, and repeat those small steps every morning until they turn into your daily habits. Then make sure you follow closely your routine and don’t let anyone mess it up for you. Emails and calls can wait a little longer. Put yourself first and start your day the right way.
Plan After-Work Activities
Work from home has its pros and cons. The greatest pro is flexibility. Still, because there is no fixed schedule involved, it’s easier for you to lose yourself in work and burn out. Even when you turn off your laptop, you still have work on your mind.
Having something to look forward to after-work hours throughout the day can help you stop thinking about work. For this reason, you can plan activities to enjoy after you have finished all work for the day. For example, watch a movie, have dinner with friends, or read a book. The activity should be something you like to do. If you don’t like going out, you can think of something else to do indoors with your family members and friends. The only condition is that the chosen activity isn’t work-related.
Remember to Take Breaks Often
When you work from home, you can easily get overwhelmed by all the workload. Therefore, your productivity might take a hit. To keep productivity levels high always, you should remember to take breaks often. Apart from lunch or coffee breaks, you should also take some shorter ones. For example, every hour or so you spend sitting, make sure to take a 5 to 10-minute break to get up from the chair and stretch. You can also move around the room or take a short walk around the building.
In between meetings and conference calls, you can do some yoga or Pilates. Before or after work hours, you can go for a run or to the gym and workout. It won’t only help you stay fit and healthy but also get rid of negativity and recharge.
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