With many roles now having to be done from home, maintaining a healthy work-life balance in this new environment presents new challenges. With your work and private life so closely intertwined, it can become difficult to fully switch off at the end of the day, while home life distractions can pose a threat to your productivity.
The following tips are designed to get you thinking about the right balance between your work and private life.
1. Establish a routine
Get into a daily routine with set times to start work, have lunch, take breaks and finish work – it will help prevent you working too much or too late or letting personal matters encroach on your working time. Make sure you clearly communicate your availability to your team members and those you live with too, so they know the best times to get hold of you.
2. Assign a workspace
Set up a designated workstation in your home that’s free of clutter and distractions. Having this little space, even if it’s just a desk in the corner of your living room, will make it easier for you to focus on your work and really get into the zone. Physically leaving this space or clearing everything away when you’re done can also help you to unplug from work at the end of the day. Check your workstation is set up for optimum comfort.
At the end of each day, make a to-do list of the tasks you need to get done the next day and prioritise the most urgent and important ones. The better you plan your time, the more manageable your workload will become and the less likely you are to procrastinate in the morning and then have to rush or work extra hours to get tasks finished.
4. Take breaks
Plan in regular breaks throughout the day. Giving your brain a rest (whether that’s by having a cup of coffee, stretching, going for a walk, doing some exercise, speaking to a friend, colleague or family member) will help you to stay productive for longer and is key for your mental and physical well-being.
5. Schedule time out
Switching off, especially at the end of the day, and giving your mind and body the time to relax and recharge is incredibly important for your well-being and will help you start the next day feeling energised and motivated. Be clear with your teammates/manager/clients when you’re not available. It may not always be easy but put away your phone and don’t check emails during this time.
6. Carve out time for your self
Just like planning in time for work, make sure you set aside time to do things that you enjoy doing. Whether that’s spending time with your family/children, exercising, reading a book or hobbies, be proactive about doing things that make you feel good and insist on carving out the time for them.
Maintaining a good work-life balance all depends on your ability to set clear boundaries and plan your time effectively. Cultivating these healthy habits will ultimately help you to become more productive, happy and successful.