How To Manage Your Work-Life Balance When Working From Home
Keeping a healthy work life balance isn’t always easy, especially when work and home are the same place. At first it probably seemed like a great idea not having to commute to and from the workplace each day, however, whether you realise or not, you may find your work and life balance merging into one. Below we share our top tips on how to keep a good work-life balance and successfully work from home.
Prioritise and manage your time
Using your time appropriately and effectively is key to managing a healthy work-life balance. You may find yourself swamped with tasks to do, therefore you must prioritise your time with what needs to be done now and what doesn’t. This way, you can allocate your time accordingly and keep organised to make sure you don’t fall out of routine.
So, a good way to manage this is to prioritise those tasks into four categories:
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither urgent nor important
Once you start to organise yourself in this way, you’ll find the day running a lot smoother and that stress of being unorganised or lacking routine will fade away.
As well as prioritising your time you must also manage it effectively.
Keeping a calendar or timeline of your tasks and meetings is a great way to manage it and ensure you stay on track and don’t merge your work and personal time into one.
Set up your day with a To Do list or calendar that you follow so you can work efficiently without the distraction of being unorganised.
You can also categorise your calendar into groups based on the main tasks you undertake such as meetings, daily activities or projects which can help you to clearly see what takes up the most time and indicate where you may need to make some changes.
You can do this through your Outlook or Google calendar or via other online calendars such as Team Up.
Have set work hours – that you stick to!
Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day will help you maintain work-life balance. Not having set work hours can have you working until late at night every night before you know it, so set work hours for yourself and do everything you can to stick to them. Of course, just as when you’re in the office, there may be times when you’re required to work a bit later but try not to make this a regular occurrence.
Removing work email apps from your phone can help you to keep to your set hours by reducing the temptation to log on and answer them.
Keep a dedicated workspace
Having a proper workspace will separate you from work and personal time and create a better work environment for you to be able to concentrate in. As nice as working in bed can be, you will find yourself easily distracted by that Netflix show you want to put on or that notification on your phone beside you.
A dedicated workspace is somewhere you can work from effectively and adapt to suit the needs of yourself and the work you do. This is usually somewhere with a desk for your laptop or computer screens, an appropriate chair to support your back and any other equipment you need to complete work. It’s important to keep your workspace tidy because a messy desk can impact how well you work and your ability to focus. If you don’t have the correct equipment don’t hesitate to ask for what you need from your employer.
If possible, try keep your workspace away from areas you normally relax in to help separate your work and home life and make it easier for you to switch off at the end of the day.
Take a break
Taking a break and leaving the house for fresh air and movement will do you good, whether that’s just in the garden or going for a walk. Your body needs to move, so getting out when you’re able will refresh your mind and actually make you more focused getting back to work.
You may think that working non-stop is the best way to be productive, but it’s quite the opposite. Not stopping to have a break will lead to paying a price, whether that being a decrease in quality, safety or efficiency. We recommend the best way to take breaks is in short capacity, having 5-10 minutes to yourself a few times throughout the day will boost your productivity – but don’t forget to still take your lunch break!
Manage your mind
It’s easy to neglect your wellbeing and put it aside to focus on work, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to look after yourself. Whether you feel under pressure, anxiety, stress or even boredom, managing your mind is key to being able to have an effective work-life balance.
A good way to help manage your mind is taking a break and by taking a break we don’t mean checking your emails because that doesn’t count. We mean giving yourself time to move around and refocus to avoid building up unnecessary stress.
However, if you feel you are struggling and would like some more advice, here are some useful resources and websites to provide extra information and directions for support:
- Rethink Mental Health
- Mental Health Foundation
So, take those breaks, whether you feel you can “afford” too or not, it is important to rest and free your mind from constant work. You may not have time to sit and rest everyday but do your best to at least give yourself a lunch break.
This article was written by Kim Sales at Opus People Solutions
WMTemps is a new recruitment service developed by West Midlands Employers and powered by Opus People Solutions.
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