With many of us working from home this year, it can be difficult to separate your work and personal life. The days soon start to blend into one, with the cut off time between the end of your working day and the start of your leisure time becoming less clear as time goes on. Today I’m going to share some of my top tips for maintaining a balance while working from home, so you can start to create some boundaries and still enjoy your time away from work.
Have a Dedicated Working Space
While this is going to depend on your living space, if you can, try and find an area in which you can work uninterrupted for the day. If you are lucky enough to have an office in your home, make the most of this space, otherwise try and find a room or part of a room where you can enjoy working in peace and quiet. While I know this can be incredibly challenging if you are looking after kids at the same time, it will help to separate your work life from your personal life, so you still feel like you’re going to the “office” for the day.
Strict Working Hours
When you’re working at home, it can be so easy for the hours and days to blend into one! Try to maintain your previous working schedule, and just work those hours you are paid for where possible. If you are meant to finish each day at 5 pm, set an alarm on your phone so you know when it’s time to clock out. If you manage a team at all, try to encourage this for them as well, and this will reduce your chances of receiving out of hours communication. If you don’t usually work at the weekends, try to avoid fiddling about with your emails or small projects during this time, and dedicate the weekends to spending time with your family or on activities you enjoy.
Staying at home all of the time generally makes us all far less active than we are used to, and I’m sure you’ve noticed your step count has dramatically decreased! Try to keep active where possible, by going for a walk during your lunch break, which will also be a great way to enjoy some fresh air and time away from screens. Try to maintain a healthy diet as much as possible, as it can definitely be tempting to eat junk food while working! Where you can, stick to a routine and have set mealtimes to keep some form of structure in your day and to avoid snacking from the boredom of being at home all the time.
Make Plans for your Free Time
Just as you would head to a bar or dinner after work with your colleagues, try to maintain some form of social life even while we’re all working and living during these strange times. If you live in a country with lockdown restrictions, schedule calls with your friends and family to catch up and get some more social interaction. If you are able to go out and enjoy your local area still, plan fun evening activities or days out at the weekend with your family. With so much time being spent in front of screens, it’s great to have a day out in nature to look forward to, and the fresh air will do all of you so much good.
It can be so challenging to set yourself a schedule and maintain boundaries between your work and personal life, but it’s a step we all need to take while working at home seems here to stay for the upcoming year. By keeping your workspace distraction-free, you’ll find it easier to clock off when the end of the day arrives and enjoy more time away from work and with your loved ones.