Five Tips to Balance Work and Life
Most people think working from home is a dream.
Padding to work in your jammies, direct snack access all day long and busting through loads of laundry while on the clock are all benefits. Or perceived benefits. The truth is, working from home can be a time trap and a creativity-sucker if you’re not careful. Your home business should not fall victim to family obligations, nor should your family life be dominated by work simply because it’s in constant proximity to you.
With the following tips, you can strike a harmonious balance between working from home and your home life in general.
- Carve out specific work time – An obvious benefit of working from home is the ability to have a flexible schedule. Yet, it’s important to carve out uninterrupted work time, where your thoughts can be focused, calls and emails can be answered without interruption and your actions are on-task. Whether that means getting up before the rest of the family, staying up late, or working through nap times, dedicating chunks of serious work time can be beneficial to your business and your family.
- Take breaks – Unless you are alone in an empty house, there will always be a compulsion to check in on the goings-on at home. Allow yourself to occasionally survey the situation, address any needs and take a restroom break before heading back to work. By doing so, instead of being distracted by the “what-ifs” of what might be going on, you’ll get the reassurance you need to focus and press forward with work.
- Let children be children…within reason – For those who have young children at home, getting work done with them constantly underfoot can be complicated. If space allows, try setting up a miniature workstation in your office for any pint-sized visitors. Children love to mimic grown-ups. You might also create a box or bag of goodies to be played with only while you’re working. Rotate the contents to keep things fresh. And, of course, unless you strictly prohibit television-watching for your children, there are a great number of educational programs on to keep your little ones occupied (and learning!).
- Eat, drink, and be productive – Working at home can do one of two things: leave you in a state of constant noshing because the food is right there and the computer or telephone won’t tell on you if you trash your diet; Or, leave you famished and dehydrated, after working for hours straight with no food or drink. Since neither of these outcomes are particularly desirable, make certain to take regular timed breaks for food (and stick to them to prevent mindless snacking) and always have a beverage handy for sipping.
- When it’s quitting time, quit – Having a home business makes it tricky to actually escape work, but it’s important to do so. Once you have put in your desired time for the day, close your office door and don’t enter back in until your next planned work time. When that door closes, it’s time to focus on your family or yourself. Cook something together, go for a walk, have a chat or simply hang out. You’ve done your work and this together time is earned…for all of you!
While working from home can be one of the most pleasurable ways to make a living, getting caught in time and guilt traps is no way to do it. By following the 5 tips above, you’ll be on the path to a productive career and a happy and well-adjusted family life.
LibertyKontranowski is a freelance writer and blogger with hundreds of articles published online and in print. She covers everything from sexual health to parenting to beauty, fashion, entertainment and more. eDrugstore.md safely provides FDA Approved medications online.