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How to manage work and life when working from home

How To Manage Work Life When Wfh

You likely already know that your work/life balance is how you choose to spend your time between home and work while trying to strike an even balance between these different areas of your life.

Post of interest:

6 work life balance habits of remote workers in remote jobs

But when your home-based office is also situated where you live, eat and sleep, it poses some unique challenges. This can be true whether you work in a home office, on your bed, at the kitchen table, or on the couch. You need to really focus extra hard on improving that work/life balance when you work at home since the lines very easily become blurred. The purpose of this article is to present solutions to help manage work and life when tele-working.

Have Morning and Night Routines That Don’t Include Work

If you do nothing else, at least start and end your day without work. Stay off your work email, set boundaries, and focus only on yourself and your personal life. When you work from home, it often feels like you are always working. So, by intentionally saving the early morning and late evening just for you and your home life without work, you can draw that line between your personal and professional life.

Set a Start and Stop Time for Your Work Schedule

When you work at home, one of the biggest challenges is feeling like you should always be working because your home is your office. This is why you need to have a firm work schedule, just like you would at any other workplace.

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It can take a little practice, but soon you associate the hours of work only with work, and you save other obligations for when you are done for the day. Think of it like clocking in and out of the office. Once you clock in, you go to work more and you only focus on work. But once the day is over, you are clocked out and you shouldn’t be doing anything related to your job until the next day.

Plan For Your Family, Hobbies, Development and Personal Pursuits

One of the reasons why we work from home is to balance our work and personal lives. Often this means having time available to spend with family, partake in hobbies and special interests as well as to develop ourselves spiritually and professionally.  Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of everyday living, we lose sight of our lofty goals. Even for professionals who don’t work from home, yearn for more quality family time.  Pew Research Center cites research showing that almost 75% of adults living in the US  rate spending time with family as the number #1 most important thing for them to do personally.

So hop to it. Taking quality time with your family requires planning. The same level of planning that you put into your work to achieve top level results. Just because you telecommute, work from home, work virtually or work remote and may be in the presence of your family doesn’t mean that you are spending time with them. You get the picture. You body is physically present but your mind is elsewhere.

6 Tips for Scheduling Quality Family Time when Tele-working

Block specific times of the day to focus on your family
Make a personal habit to physically connect with your family at least four times during the day to tell jokes and check-in
Affix personal notes and positive affirmations on  your child’s door, refrigerator, lunch box or within their backpack
Cook together and/or have lunch and dinner together
Help your children with school work, college assignments, entry level job demands for recent graduate
Hold de-briefing sessions each night before bed to check in and plan for a better day tomorrow

Get Dressed for Work, Then for Home

As you begin your day and are about to start working, get ready and put on clothes that are different from loungewear and what you slept in. It puts you into the mindset of starting your work day and helps you stay productive.

But when your work day is over, you should change back into lounge clothes, to shift your mindset to your personal time. This also helps to associate different tasks and habits related to your personal life and your professional life. It’s not easy to have a good work/life balance when you work from home, but this certainly helps.

Don’t Multi-Task Work and Personal Obligations Throughout the Day

It is really tempting to do laundry in the middle of your workday and make business calls when you have friends over. But by trying to multi-task in this way, you are blurring the line between your personal and professional life. Just like if you worked outside of the house, you should not be doing anything not related to your job when you’re working. The same also goes for when your work day is over.

Turn Off Work-Related Notifications on Your Personal Phone

If you only have one phone that you use for everything, you will need to turn off work notifications when you are done working for the day, and personal notifications while you are working. Otherwise, you are stripping yourself of these important boundaries.

It is so tempting to be sitting on the couch at night and answering emails, or using your phone to talk to friends when you are supposed to be working during the day. If this is something you struggle with, it might be time to have separate phones and devices for your work and personal life. If you still find that you can’t resist the temptation to check your notifications, read below for a more drastic option.

Turn Off  Your Business and Personal Phone

Working 24/7 each day of the week has its disadvantages. The need to be on and connected every hour of the day is a habit of many young adults. Often, this means that we are on our cell phones  for work and personal use just prior to bedtime. Some (you know who you are), resort to using cell phones after we’ve retired for the night. Medical professionals know that this habit is unhealthy. It leads to physically being in bed, but not actually sleeping, thereby reducing much needed sleep time.  Medical doctors have found that delayed bedtime can lead to loss of sleep, disturbance of sleeping and waking patterns, and poor quality of sleep. What does that mean for all of the go-getters out there? Increased fatigue and tiredness during the workday. And, that is a no, no. 

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Maintaining a healthy work life balance when working from home

So, what is a possible solution?  Turn off your business phone line and your personal mobile phone during non-working hours. Why?  The US National Library of Medicine cites a study indicating that turning off one’s phone and email notifications can improve sleep quality and reduce the likelihood that you will still be aroused while trying to fall asleep. Still not convinced? The research also demonstrated that by simply turning off your work phone and personal cell phone prior to sleep time can increase positive feelings and can enhance working memory. Enhanced working memory has been shown to improve productivity and effectiveness.

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