While some thrive in the new work-from-home setting, achieving a healthy work-life balance can feel like walking a tight rope to others. This could be because research in the field of industrial and organizational psychology paint a picture that the challenges of remote work can be invigorating for some and draining for others.
Desireable features of remote work
- Flexibility in timing the performance of certain work related remote job tasks
- Family friendly scheduling
- Reduction in the time spent and the costs associated with commuting
Undesireable features of remote work
- Work intensity
- Space limitations
- Digital and technologically driven stress
- Family care and housework intensity
These challenges of remote work encouraged SearchRemotely.com to publish our article, ‘How to Make Working From Home a Joyful and Sustaining Experience’, so that we could be a resource to help remote workers working remotely fulfilling remote job tasks find happiness in spite of the difficulties they may encounter.
If you would like a free personal workbook to help you maintain a healthy work life balance, click here to download.
We discussed the different ways to make the work-from-home setup work best for you as you endeavor to be successful in your remote job and career. And now, we’ll dive deeper into what it takes to do this while still maintaining a happy, healthy, and enriching life.
Stick to your schedule no matter what
Sticking to a predetermined schedule is the single most effective thing you can do for attaining and maintaining a work-life balance. Depending on the nature of your work, your schedule can be flexible according to your needs. You however cannot be flexible about sticking to your schedule. Determine how many hours you’ll actually need to get through your workday – and stick to those hours. From there, you can determine which days and weeks in your calendar are dedicated to work, leisure, or other activities. This can allow you to separate your work life from your home life.
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This is of course is much easier said than done, as there will be lots of distractions that will prevent you from doing this. As much as it can be tempting to procrastinate during scheduled working hours, it can also be as tempting to check work emails while spending time with friends and family. But you have to be determined – as Forbes’ workday productivity guide so eloquently states, the goal is to “live and die by your calendar.” If you can stick to your schedule and your calendar of activities, then you can be the most productive you can be – both in work and in life.
Create and develop a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated workspace at home, whether it’s a simple desk or an actual room, can go a long way in helping establish balance. By creating a personal space that’s dedicated solely to work, you can get into the mindset of working from home the moment you sit in your chair at your work desk. Make sure that you have a comfortable chair to sit on, and that everything you need to do to complete your day’s work is within your reach.
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You should also have a stable internet connection with at least 50 Mbps download speed so you won’t be bogged down by connectivity issues. Feel free to decorate and light your workspace as you see fit. Do not do anything that’s not work-related within the bounds of this dedicated workspace. This will allow you to set healthy, spatial boundaries between your work and your home life. This can also reduce procrastination, which brings us to our next point.
Start with the most difficult tasks
Overcoming the tendency to procrastinate is one of the greatest barriers to work-life balance. In order to beat procrastination, you need the discipline to do the tasks that you want to do the least first. Use the first hours of the workday or the first day of the week to get the most stressful and difficult tasks out of the way. As Verizon Connect’s business productivity guide details, this leaves you with either enjoyable or comparatively easier tasks at the latter part of the day or the week. By doing this, it can help in ensuring that your work tasks don’t bleed into your fun and leisure time during your weekends. Apart from beating procrastination and increasing productivity, doing the hardest tasks first also helps alleviate stress.
There are of course many other ways to achieve and maintain a healthy work-life balance. But if you can implement these aforementioned tips in your work-from-home life, you can set up a strong routine and foundation aimed at achieving a healthy, long-term work-life balance.
Exclusively submitted by Veronica Snee and updated by searchremotely.com