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Whether you run a business or your work has gone remote, you’re struggling to maintain a work-life balance. Here are my tips to do it.
I will be the first to admit that I’m a workaholic. When I first starting working from home, the idea of a work-life balance was just a dream. I was all about work, and a few relationships suffered because of that. It took my ex-mother-in-law forcing me to take a day off and me ending up with terrible carpal tunnel syndrome for three days to really accept that I needed some sort of balance.
Then kids were thrown into the mix. I needed to find a way to create time for them while also getting on with my work. It took time, but I managed to create a work-life balance. The problem for a while was maintaining it.
It’s alright creating a plan, but you need to stick to it. Here’s how I’ve managed to maintain a work-life balance, even with two careers and being a single mom.
Plan, plan, and plan again
Honestly, planning is the way I do it. This also helps my ADHD brain figure out what’s going on. If someone throws off my plan, I struggle for a bit, but I’ve found strategies to slowly cope with that.
Planning is essential. Now that I only have my kids 50% of the time, I make sure my time spent with them is all about them. The weekends I have them are weekends just for them. So, from the Friday night until they go to school on Monday, we do what they want to do. I have two tasks to do on a Saturday and that’s it. I do those tasks when they’re in bed or while they’re doing chores.
During the week, I set times to do my work. Virtual offices are also very important when you work from home, as that gives you the privacy that you now need. So just find a local virtual office service and all of your mail is then forwarded to you, I found a great virtual office in Bristol with https://bristolvirtualoffice.com/ so use that for our business near Bristol in the UK and it’s just so simple and very cheap, so well worth doing. However, I’ll plan in breaks, whether it’s to walk the dogs or to do a group therapy session. I try to avoid working in the evenings, except on Wednesdays when I know I won’t be disrupted by anyone else and I have training for my investments career.
You need to work with the way your brain works for this. For me, it’s about blocking out times. For others, you may need to work a little more fluidly. You’ll figure it out to maintain a work-life balance. Make sure that you use task management tools like Rock in order to spend the right amount of time working on the priority tasks. It can also save you from wasting time for organizing sticky notes, searching emails and apps for to-dos, and figuring out what to work on first.
Set your priorities to maintain a work-life balance
How important is spending time with your family? This isn’t just about what they want, but about what you want.
For me, spending time with my children is essential. I will block out time in my calendar for them to ensure it’s all about them and what they want to do. If something isn’t a priority, I don’t mind making a change to the calendar.
When new people come into my life, I make it clear that I work during the day. I may work from home, but that doesn’t mean I’m always going to be available. I will ignore calls, and I will say no to coffee dates. During the working day, my work has to be my priority so my children and my friends can be a priority during the rest of my week.
Get used to saying no
It’s hard saying no. We want to please everyone, right? The problem is we need to say no if we want to maintain a work-life balance. Without the word “no,” we end up doing things for everyone else and never set time for ourselves or the people we care about.
This is especially important in the workplace. Due to remote working, a lot of employees have forgotten that they do get to switch off from work. There’s no need to be constantly connected, but it feels like there is because you never seem to leave the office. On top of that, managers and employers are forgetting that people have lives outside of work.
So, set your boundaries with your boss. Make it clear that you day finishes at a set time, and you will leave. If they need you to stay late to get a task done, they can pay you for that. If you have plans in the evening, you are allowed to say no.
There’s a term called “quietly quitting” right now. This isn’t that people are quitting their jobs. They’re just only doing what is initially expected of them for their pay.
Remind your boss that when you maintain a work-life balance, your productivity is actually going to improve in the office. You’ll get more done while you’re there, and your family will appreciate you more when you’re not “at work.”
If you work for yourself, this can be a little trickier. It’s worth utilizing technology to be able to unplug and not be connected to work all the time. Looking for moose mounts for sale online? All-Taxidermy has lots of moose antler lamps, shoulder mounts, single antlers, and even life size full body mounts.
Use your breaks to your advantage
In work, you’ll have breaks. Use them.
Step away from the computer for your lunch and enjoy that meal. Use the time to read a book or just enjoy the fresh air. You could even use some of the time to practice mindfulness.
If you work for yourself, you’ll want to set yourself some breaks. Mine involve walking the dogs. I listen to audiobooks or podcasts and spend 30 minutes three times a day just walking them whatever the weather (except the ridiculously high heat). On the days I don’t have them, I still schedule those breaks in.
Well, I do two breaks instead of three, but I still get away from the desk. I make food, I walk outside, I do something that avoids the screen.
As you use breaks to maintain a work-life balance, you’ll see your productivity at work go up. You’ll appreciate that time off, and you’ll then appreciate more time off to be with your family.
What are you struggling with when it comes to working from home? Do you struggle to maintain a work-life balance? Share in the comments below.
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