Tuesday, 21 February 2023

6 Top Tips For Better Work-Life Balance When Working From Home

Ever since the unexpected twist in the tale of our lives that was the year 2020, working from home has become more and more the norm within our society and for many people, the benefits of a work-from-home lifestyle have their advantages such as less financial cost when it comes to commuting and more flexibility around family life to name just a few. So it's little wonder than many people are now looking to start businesses from home.

Speaking as someone who has run a business from home for the last decade, I have to say that I am all for this as the benefits hugely outweigh the pitfalls for me - but there are some tips I would offer in order to give you the best chance at succeeding in your home business and striking the best possible work-life balance.

Keep Business & Leisure Time Separate

This sounds obvious but it's actually surprisingly difficult to do when running a business from home, as you'll find that these two aspects of your life start to cross over very easily if you're not careful.

Whether it's taking personal calls and agreeing to run errands during your working hours because nobody will notice and you can make the time up later, or whether it's having a quick check of your work emails in bed of an evening - before long these two worlds can become very muddled, and this can lead to overwhelm and burnout.

The best way to avoid this is to be intentional with your work set up - have a dedicated space in your home that you can close the door on at the end of your work day, and leave behind. If you use social media and e-mails as part of your work, consider getting a second phone for personal use and try not to install the same social media apps or access to work emails on it so that you can use this during your personal time without the urge to check in on work things.

Stick To A Schedule & Working Hours

Having designated working hours will not only help you to organise your work time in a more productive manner, but it will also help you to set boundaries with others in your life. People often have a tendency to see those who work from home as being permanently available, but this of course can have a huge impact on your work productivity - setting working hours and making yourself unreachable during these times will help a lot.

You should also be sure to schedule regular breaks and a daily lunch time, and force yourself to stick to them - the urge to keep pushing on and working through them is always strong when working for yourself, but it won't do you any good in the long run and will likely lead to burn out.

Keep A Designated Work Space

Having a dedicated area of your work for your business will help you to keep a good work-life balance. Of course this can be easier said than done, particularly if your business involves storing a lot of products or equipment so rather than having this taking up storage space in your home why not consider hiring a storage unit instead. Many companies often offer very reasonable rates, so it's worth taking a look at the likes of  Now Storage Basingstoke and their many other locations across the country.

Stick To A Work Wardrobe

Some people who work from home see the opportunity to spend the day in their pyjamas as a positive, and of course this is a matter of personal choice but if you're running your own business you really want to get yourself in a positive and professional frame of mind, ready to take on each day with enthusiasm...and personally, I just don't find that Hello Kitty Hoodies do that for me!

I always make sure that I get up and dress myself smartly, with my hair and makeup done for the day ahead just as I would if I was going out to work - this not only puts me in the right frame of mind for a productive work day, but it also helps me to differentiate between my work days and my down days when I'm not working. 

Leave The House Each Day

The temptation to finish your work day, have dinner and lounge around all evening is always there when you work from home and I have to admit that there have been many occasions when I've found myself accidentally not leaving the house for sometimes days at a time. It never leads to anything positive! 

Now I try to make sure that I leave the house for some fresh air every day, even if only for 5 minutes - it's important to have a change of scenery and to get outside.

Find Networking Opportunities

Working from home can be lonely at times, especially if you're running your own business. Although online connections can be invaluable, it just isn't the same as actually getting out and meeting people - thankfully there are many co-working spaces popping up which allow you to rent a desk for an afternoon here and there. I find this a great way to get out of the house and mingle occasionally, often meeting some interesting people and making good connection, whilst still allowing me to get my work done.
There are also often networking events run for small business owners in local areas, which can be great too and often they will regular social events and even Christmas parties for home business owners.  Try searching your local social media groups to find some in your area.

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