It is no secret that many of us struggle to strike a balance between work and day to day life. This struggle has only increased over the last few months, where many of us have been encouraged to work from home. Whilst working from home allows us to cut out the morning commute, and can provide more flexibility, it also has the potential to disrupt daily routines.
If you are working from home, or getting ready to go back to the office and are concerned that the lines between your work and home life are blurred, then here are our top 5 tips for helping you achieve that balance.
One of the most effective ways to maintain your work/life balance is by creating a routine. Start your morning routine by waking up and doing the same thing every morning. Get yourself some breakfast and a coffee and prepare to start your day. A routine will not only help you to maintain a balance, it will also help those around you to understand this balance and possibly make their routine compliment it.
If you don’t create a routine, you will find yourself working long in to the evening. In the long run this will cause you to become tired and less efficient. It will also negatively impact your social life and ability to relax.
If you are working at home try to find a space which you can dedicate to work. It becomes very difficult to maintain a work/life balance if your dinner table is also your office desk. If you need to have a flexible working space, then it is a good idea to try and keep this separate.
This is a very important aspect; however, it is not always possible. Many of us began working from home at a very short notice, and simply do not have the space in our homes to have a dedicated work space. If you are using the space for dual purposes try to put your working material and laptop away at the end of the day, so that the space can be transformed and no longer reminds you of work.
It is important to remember that it is okay to take breaks. When working from home you can get in the swing of just shutting yourself off and working away. Set yourself a reminder and take regular breaks every 90 minutes throughout the day. If you are in the flow of things, it can be challenging to take yourself away and give yourself the break you need.
If this is something you struggle with, then as soon as the reminder or alarm goes off, try standing up and walking about a little. This will get you away from your working space, and help you take a short break. It is proven that taking breaks helps you be more productive whilst you are working.
Setting yourself regular working hours allows you to form some sort of pattern. Establishing these hours is beneficial for both yourself, your family and also your colleagues. It helps maintain the balance between when you are working, and when you are not. If your working day finishes at 5pm, then make sure you sign off and use the rest of the evening to have some down time and find a way to take your mind off work.
Staying active is so important. Getting out once a day for a walk or run and getting some fresh air is one of the most important aspects. Make sure you factor some time in to be active, as this will help take your mind off work and act as a stress relief.
If you find it difficult to schedule physical activity in to your day, try finding classes or double up your activity with your socialising time. A great example of this is meeting up with a friend to go for a long walk once a week. The benefits of this will be huge, and help you to create that much needed balance.
Creating a work/life balance is one of the most important things you can do. Nobody can work full on, without eventually experiencing a burn out. Getting the right balance and setting up a solid routine will enable you to take time away from work, and let you relax and enjoy the important things in life.