Working from home is great! But, if you don’t approach work-life balance with intention, you will fail at working from home.
Worse than failure; you will feel guilt and stress when you can’t meet the expectations of family and your business. No one wants to be unbalanced. You need to create space and habits that will help you maintain your ability to balance both life and work from day one.
I have been working from home for one year now. When I first started working from home, I was full-time for a company and started freelancing on the side. Today, I work part-time for someone else and probably more than full time for myself.
I have days that I work from dawn to dusk. But, on a daily basis, I don’t like to do that. Here are eight things I do to help me master the work-at-home mindset.
Creating Work-Life Balance from Home
1. Get Dressed - I am not talking about stuffy office attire. I am merely stating that you need to get out of your jammies and into clothes that are “outside of the house” approved.
There is something that happens in our brains when we get ready for the day ahead. Wash your face, brush your teeth, and get dressed. You can keep that bed head if you like, but you need a morning routine that is similar to people who work outside of the home.
2. Create Your Cube - In a typical office space, people bring in pictures of their family, motivational quotes, and fun office-y things to decorate. You should do this too!
This is my space above. I start everyday with time to reflect and create.
Create a set space in which to work. Don’t fall into the trap of working from bed or the couch. It doesn’t mean you can’t work outside on a beautiful day with your laptop. It just means you need to have a home base.
Have a desk, a comfy chair and decorate your space. Hang pics of the fam, play music, light candles, and write inspirational quotes to keep you engaged throughout the day.
3. Office Hours - Do not fall into the trap of working day and night. I fail at this like a champ some days! But, each day, I try to do better.
Set your hours and become a clock watcher. When it is time to stop for the day, clock out and move away from the office.
4. Take Breaks - My pups keep me on track with breaks. They know that we walk at 10 am every day.
You need to have downtime away from the office. Working from home is no different. Walk away for a bit and take that much-needed break.
5. Protect Work Time - If you work from home with a family that runs in and out of your office, you may need to set some rules. Hang your hours on the door. Make a sign that reminds the kids they are entering your quiet office space. Some mommas I know create a “workspace” for their kids in their home office. Give them some things to do to keep them busy and start instilling some work ethics into them today.
6. Set Goals - No matter where you work, you must have goals. But, when you work from home distractions abound. Be sure to set goals for your work day and work week.
7. Plan Ahead - I finish every day by creating a list of tasks I need to complete the next day. This “brain dump” helps me truly relax and unwind when I lie down at night. All of the thoughts about what I need to do the next day are on a piece of paper or in my calendar. I can rest easy knowing that I have a list.
8. Start Strong - This is the BEST advice anyone can give you for working at home. Start your day with power.
Turn on inspirational music, read a devotional or morning inspirational quote, and then get working.
Morning hours are the most productive. Start early and strong. Let the creative juices flow. This habit will keep you moving towards goals and checking tasks off your list all day long.
Working from home has definite benefits, but just like everything in life, there is a downside. Be sure to create your work schedule with intention so that you can master the work-at-home mindset.