Photo Credit: Getty
Work life balance is always a tricky thing to achieve and working from home can make it even more challenging. When home becomes a place of work as well, the lines between the two can easily blur. Everyone’s definition of work life balance is different, but there are a few basic rules you can follow to define it for yourself.
Carve out a working space.
The first step to achieving work life balance is to dedicate a spot in your home to working. If you have the luxury of space, pick a room to become your new office. If you don’t have a spare room, carve out a spot in your apartment to become your work station. As tempting as it may be, don’t work from your bed. Being too comfortable can negatively impact productivity, plus it’s best to leave your bed as a place where you can go to escape from work.
Wherever you set up your work space, make sure that you have a comfortable chair to sit on and good lighting. Natural light is a mood and productivity booster, so set up your space near a window if possible. If you’re going to be on a video call and your workspace is in an open area, be aware of your background and any other distractions from pets, roommates, or kids.
Set working hours.
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re working from home in various ways. Some people end up working more hours than they would in an office and others find it hard to stay focused from 9-5. Avoid the temptation to work whenever just because you can, and set office hours for yourself. This ensures that you get work done without work taking over your entire day.
Setting working hours is especially helpful if you have kids. It’s a way to set boundaries and helps them understand that for certain times you’ll be in work mode, but the rest of the time you can be in parent mode. If your kids are in school, you can have them complete their schoolwork while you’re working. Getting everyone in the house on a schedule helps ensure that work gets done for everyone.
Take a lunch break.
One of the easiest ways to gain some semblance of work life balance when working from home is to take a lunch break. Close your laptop and step away from your work while you eat lunch. Go for a walk, read a book, watch an episode of your favorite show, or do something that relaxes you on your lunch break. T
We’re all guilty of multi-tasking, and it becomes even more of a problem when working from home. It can be tempting to throw in a load of laundry or tidy up around the house while you’re working, but it’s more distracting than it is helpful. When you’re working, keep yourself in work mode. If you schedule breaks in your working day, use those times to do housework, but be mindful that you stick to the amount of time you set for the break and don’t exceed it.
Put your work away at the end of the day.
Turn off your computer, do a quick tidy up of your space, and ‘leave’ work. The simple act of doing this helps you transition out of work mode and into home mode – even if that only means taking a few steps from your table to your couch. Mentally clocking out replicates leaving the office at the end of the day, and as an added bonus, you don’t have to commute.
Transitioning to working from home and finding a work life balance can take a bit of experimenting. Be patient with yourself as you learn to adjust to a new situation, and take an active approach to finding your own work life balance.
For the original article, visit Forbes.