Work-life balance really matters especially with more of us working from home. For many of us one of the perks of working from home is having a flexible schedule, being able to complete work that’s not deadline specific allows us to dip in and out of work mode when we are working from home. But, is this a good thing? We can still put pressure on ourselves with this newfound flexible working environment such as answering emails or taking calls outside of our normal working day thinking, I’m here so I might as well sort it now as it will save me time in the morning.
After working in an office environment for many years, leaving at the end of the business day either by car or public transport gives us a definitive gap between work and home and allows us to, metaphorically speaking, close the door on the business day and start to unwind on our way home. Mulling over the days activities on your way home allows you start to disassociate your mind with work and start to think about what you are going to do when you arrive home, dinner, watch a movie, etc.
Instead, what is happening now, is we leave our makeshift office take a couple of steps and we are immediately into home life!
6 tips to improve your work-life balance
- Separate Workspace – this may not always be possible depending on how much room you have however, it’s important to have a designated work area that you can leave and if possible close the door or at the very least pack away once you have finished your working day.
- Prioritise your day – structure is important, having a ‘to do’ list might seem a bit regimented but it does keep you focused and organised on the day/weekly agenda, putting you back in control rather than being reactive.
- Take breaks – having downtime away from your screen can give you perspective on your working day. Taking a walk breaks the concentration and in doing so improves productivity and performance.
- Exercise – we can all appreciate the benefits of exercise and how good you feel afterwards even if it’s an effort to actually take some! The feel good endorphins we produce are testament to this also improving our mental health.
- Working hours – try to keep to a specific start and end time to your working day. I appreciate this is not always cast in stone and dependant on the type of business you’re in and deadlines prevailing. Your colleagues and clients need to know when you’re available and when you’re not. Don’t be a martyr, emails and phone requests that come in after your working day are not always mission critical and can wait until the following day.
- Sleep – getting a good nights sleep is something that evades a lot of us, but it’s so important and sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety and ill health. If you tend to get off ok and then wake up with all the worlds issues flooding into your mind try the technique ‘Brain Dumping’. This consists of writing down any thoughts, concerns, even things like Birthday reminders on your mind before you turn the lights off, this seems to have a positive affect freeing the mind knowing that these thoughts are parked until the morning.