I will tell you, just like anyone that works from home, that the boundaries between your personal life and work will end up feeling nonexistent. You can be as organized as you want to be and it will still be really tough to manage the home and the career. When you have children everything becomes more complicated.
The truth is that it can be really hard to draw a line between professional and personal. For most people that work at home that will be impossible. This should be accepted. What needs to be done is to find a balance. You want to have a healthy work-life balance that helps you remain in touch with your personal life while you advance your career.
Here are some suggestions that can help:
Get Dressed Before You Start Working
When you go to a regular job it is normal to change into clothes that are work-appropriate. When you work from home you can be tempted to work in your underwear, a t-shirt, pajamas and so on. This does not mean you should wear a suit. It simply means you need to have work attire and home attire. If you do not want to have work clothes, you should at least wear the clothes that you would normally wear as you go out.
Designate A Work Place
Everyone agrees that you should do work in a space that is defined as much as possible. Home offices are great but even a couch can be suitable if you always stay there as you do work from home. The idea is to create a productive work environment that is not where you sleep. Clearly separating areas for work and business helps to get in the right mindset as you start working. This increases productivity and helps you get out of the work mood as you start to relax.
As an extra tip, be sure that you have at least one part of your home that is 100% work free. You never do business there.
Always Effectively Communicate With Everyone Involved In Work
Working from home opens the door to a world of opportunities. After all, you can work for a company from the other side of the world. While this is definitely wonderful, it also has the potential to create some huge problems. For instance, there are always hours when you are not going to be available to do work or for meetings. Those hours have to be discussed and arranged with the client/employer so that your personal life will not become blended into work and work into personal life.
As you work at home the typical work structure is changed. If you are a part of a team everything becomes more complicated since scheduling everything can be tough. Try to find a way to build a good relationship with everyone involved and have a proper communication system in place. You do not want clients to call you on Skype in the middle of the night when a simple modification is needed. Establish boundaries when you work from home.
- How to set boundaries when you work from home – from Skillcrush.com
Priorities help a lot when you work from home. You need to set times when you work and respect those times. As you have work time coming up, prepare and be sure that you are actually ready to work by minimizing all possible distractions. You basically do things around the home outside those “work hours” you set up for yourself.
In many cases the balance between work and life is ruined because you end up feeling trapped inside your very own home. This is common for longer periods of time in which you have no outdoor appointments, no errands and you do not meet with friends. Before you realize it you find yourself working all the time.
When you create your work schedule you need to schedule breaks. This stops you from working all the time. Everyone tells you to get up every hour, stretch and walk around a bit. Few people do that but you should be a part of those few.
Use Time Management Software
The biggest concern when working from home is staying organised and working efficiently. This is much needed so that you can stop your work as the day ends and come home in true sense. Time management software is a bliss for freelancers. The software tracks time you spend on each task and helps you to keep working when actually needed. It also keeps you away from time wasters like social media sites, unnecessary breaks etc. When you work without distractions and track where you wasted time, you become more and more efficient and get more free time each day.
Schedule Time To Unwind
Unfortunately, much of the life that you will have as you work from home will revolve around schedules you absolutely have to keep. This includes time to unwind. I picked up yoga, others play the violin and many play with their children.
You want to find something that relaxes you. When you unwind you get more energy and your mind is in a better place.
Ban Technology When You Work
Technology is great and its evolution is the main reason why we can work from home but this does not mean we should be dependent on it. When you work at home most of the distractions that appear will be related to technology. Checking social media notifications is surely the top distraction for freelancers and people that work at home at the moment. If you ban technology when you work or when you spend time with friends and family, you take one step further towards achieving the balance you need to be truly successful.
Learning to say no when you work from home is one of the most difficult things you will have to do. What I mentioned as being the Indian online business approach in the past has its negatives. One of them is that people from India seem to never say no, even when they know that they cannot get the job done. It is your right to decline extra work or some things that are not a part of the initial agreement. Also, you should never do things simply because you feel guilty. Learn to say no!
- Learning To Say No – from PsychCentral.com
Working from home is great but it does have its negative side. One of the problems is that you can lose yourself in work or simply not do work because of personal wishes. Balancing life and work is difficult and you will need to work on it. The fact that you read this article shows that you realize there is a current or potential problem.
Remember that it takes time to build balance in life. Give yourself that time!