6 tips to strike a work-life balance when working from home
Working from home is more commonplace now than ever before. Yet so many of us struggle with drawing the line between our work life and our personal lives. It’s easy for the two to bleed into one another or allow one to dominate. Today I’m sharing 6 tips to strike a work-life balance when working from home.
Work-life balance tip #1: Dress for success
Working from home doesn’t mean wearing pajamas all day long. Dress like you mean business! I feel better when I wake up early, do a quick workout, take a shower, and read my scriptures. Be sure to get ready for the day to put your best foot forward for online meetings. Nothing gives me more confidence than putting on a blazer and doing my hair and makeup. After you’re done with work for the day, you can throw those sweatpants back on and relax.
Work-life balance tip #2: Create a schedule
Decide on your ideal schedule for when you want to be working and when you want to spend time with your family. Even if you’re not tracking hours, it is helpful to know your game plan for the day so you can mentally prepare. Block off work time on your calendar. Maybe you do better working a few hours first thing in the morning, taking the middle of the day off to spend time with your kids, and then do some more work in the evenings. Or if you’re busy in the mornings getting kids to school or camps, maybe you want to work more in the afternoons. Pay attention to when your kids are naturally more self-sufficient and use that time to be productive.
Whatever your schedule, make sure to communicate with other members of your family so that they are aware of the times you need to focus on your business. When your time is up for the day, quickly wrap up what you’re working on. Make a note of the things you need to carry over to the next day.
Work-life balance tip #3: Keep your workspace separate
My next tip is to keep your workspace separate. It should be an area of the house where you can be efficient. Keep it clean and tidy so you aren’t distracted by a giant pile of laundry that needs to be folded. Use a closed door or headphones so that you aren’t distracted by the rest of your household. On your computer, keep one internet browser window open with all work-related tabs and have a separate browser for personal items (or close all personal tabs before beginning your work). Otherwise you might spend 20 minutes trying to clear your personal email inbox to avoid reaching capacity and forget what you’re supposed to be doing.
Try to only check your phone and personal email when you need a break. Turn your phone to Do Not Disturb when you need to really focus or have meetings. Try not to be distracted by household tasks and phone calls during your designated work time. If you can make the most of your work hours, you’ll find yourself having more time for your family and other responsibilities later.
On the other hand, try not to let your work life creep into your personal time. Before you go to bed, avoid checking work emails. If anything important comes up with your business, you can be reached by phone. Try to focus on sleep and leave the work emails for the morning.
Work-life balance tip #4: Plan out your week
Every Sunday I like to plan for the week ahead. Decide on what important tasks you need to get done that week at work and prioritize them. Figure out what can be bumped to the bottom of the list. If you need a paper planner, I’ve got a great one here. I also have content planning sheets on my website. Plan out which meals your family will eat for the week. That way you can throw something in the crock pot in the morning and you aren’t scrambling to come up with ideas at the last minute when kids are hungry.
Come up with a cleaning and laundry schedule. You can multitask by listening to a business podcast or audiobook while doing dishes or folding laundry. Assign chores to your kids that are age appropriate. If it would make your life easier by hiring someone to clean your house twice a month- do that! I started doing this a few years ago and it has been a game changer. Don’t feel guilty for putting your business first. This is something you felt called to do.
Work-life balance tip #5: Lower your expectations
Surely you have some ideas about how working from home is going to be. Try not to be discouraged if things don’t go according to plan. Your kids will interrupt you. There could be someone at the door or a leak in your ceiling that needs to be handled ASAP. Sometimes you may not be in the right mindset to get things done.
Don’t stress if things around the house need to slide. The laundry can wait for another day. Occasionally it may be easier to get takeout instead of following your meal plan. That’s totally fine! Do whatever works best for you and don’t worry about how other women are handling their lives. We can’t have the perfect business, a tidy house, obedient children, and dinner on the table every day of the week.
Work-life balance tip #6: Take time for yourself
My last tip is to take time for yourself. Working moms have even less time to spread between their jobs, kids, church, the house, and friends. Take time to relax now and then. If you are happier when you exercise, make sure to plan that into your weekly schedule. Go out to a movie with the family or plan a girl’s night out to celebrate reaching a milestone in your business. Unwind in the evenings by doing a puzzle, watching a show, or painting your nails. Whatever makes you happy – do it! You don’t have to be productive every minute of the day.
You can balance it all!
The scales may tip back and forth with how much time you spend on home and work life. But it will all balance out in the end. These tips can help you figure out how to balance your work and personal life. Take advantage of the flexibility and comfort of working from home. You got this!
For more ideas on work-life balance, check out these links:
- 10 Tips for Working From Home
- 11 Tips for Being Productive While Working From Home
- 3 Tips for Working at Home with Kids
- How I Run a 6 Figure Business with 5 Kids at Home