Working from home definitely has its pros. It’s convenient, time-saving (no more lengthy commutes!) and financially it’s a huge plus, especially when starting your own business. Oh, and you can wear your PJs all day if you choose to. Even though the good seems to outweigh the bad, often the cons are not always realised until you’re in the thick of it, thinking ‘What the hell am I doing?!’
Hands down, the biggest downside to working from home is separating your work and home life. The lines can very easily become blurred and you find yourself looking at those dirty dishes in the sink and thinking ‘I should really do that!’ while trying to concentrate on work..Or on the flip side, it’s the weekend, time you should be spending with your nearest and desert. But instead, you spend most of your time lost in thought about all the work you didn’t get done that week and sneaking off to bury yourself in it. The problem is, you can find yourself in limbo never really getting the work you need to do done and never giving your full focus to your friends or family.
It is so important to find your own balance between your work and home life, so you can ensure you are giving your best in both aspects of your life. Here are a three important points to think about….
Separate your workspace
Creating a completely separate space within your home is the first step. Let’s face it, you are never going to achieve balance working from your dining room table. You need to create a workspace that is purely for work and work alone. Converting a spare bedroom or even the garage into your office space is the best option. If you can, then perfect — you can tick this one off the list! However, if you don’t have that luxury and are limited for space, think about creating an office nook in the corner of a room that you could partition off. The goal is that when you walk away from work at the end of the day and enter your family zone, it’s as if you have actually left the office.
Allocate work hours
For most women that work for themselves, the luxury is that you can set your own hours. However, for the very same reason, we often find ourselves constantly working, even when we aren’t really. With the introduction of smartphones and iPads, our lives have changed for the better and also for the worst. We have so many apps that help us run our business that hat we never truly switch off and walk away. So, how do you get around this? Set your work hours! This, my friend, is an absolute game changer! Allocate blocks of time where you are at work and when you are at home. This is especially important for mums juggling work, kids schedules, housework, homework, meals and the list goes on. Does this sound like you? It’s so much easier to focus on the task at hand when you have allotted time to each task. When the lines between home and work cross over we become less productive, so allowing time for each part of your life enables your focus to stay where it needs to be.
Be inspired by your workspace
Creating a beautiful, functional space is more important than you may realise. We are all more productive when we’re inspired by our surroundings. I can guarantee blank walls and empty rooms do not inspire much at all. Your first step is always functionality! If the space isn’t functional and organised, you will most likely feel chaotic and overwhelmed. Make sure your office has easy workflow and good storage solutions. Everything should have a place! The second step is aesthetics. Make it your own and make it beautiful. Fill your walls with inspiring artwork, prints, motivational quotes, pin boards and anything else that inspires you, then throw in a plant or two and a few of your favourite décor pieces. I promise, when you love your space you will work more efficiently — so your work life won’t invade your home life as much.
If you currently work from home and you feel like you are going around in circles never quite reaching your goals, then you probably need to make some changes. I am not saying this will be the solution to all your problems, but, if you can master these three steps, you will definitely be closer to achieving the elusive work/life balance we all dream of.