Ever since I left my “real” job and began working for myself full time I’ve struggled a bit with finding a balance between work and my personal life. There are typically two extremes, either you’ll work constantly or get distracted by being home and not get anything done.
In the beginning, I found myself working 24/7 because I was so focused on getting my new business up and running. And while it’s great to be so dedicated you’ll find yourself quickly getting burned out. So to try and stop that from happening, I’ve come up with a few tips to help you balance your work life and your personal life.
1. Get dressed as if you were going out.
If you’re working from home I know how tempting it can be to stay in your pajamas for the entire day. Now, you don’t have to put on a suit or wear heels all day but taking the steps to get ready in the morning will put you in the mindset of going to work and you will therefore be more productive.
2. Sit at a table instead of staying in bed.
This depends on what type of work you’re doing but personally, I can do the majority of my work from my laptop. It’s all about your mind frame. Sitting on the couch with the intention of getting loads of work done might very well end up with you sitting with your feet up, watching tv, and getting sucked into Facebook. Obviously different approaches work for different people but if you feel yourself getting easily distracted, try moving from the couch to the kitchen table. You might be surprised at how much a small change of scenery may do for you.
3. Set regular hours.
The great thing about being self employed is that you can set your own hours. However, some people may take advantage of this. If you find yourself working for a while then going shopping then working some more and then taking a nap, try setting “office hours” for yourself. You don’t have to stick to them everyday, things might come up. But on regular days maybe tell yourself you’ll work from 9-12 then take a break for lunch and then work from 1-4. You’ll probably end up being more productive if you set a few limits for yourself.
4. Take breaks.
This is important for all you workaholics out there. Don’t overwork yourself! If’s great to be motivated and determined when it comes to your business but there’s no need to overdo it. If you feel yourself dragging, just stop for a little while. You’ll come back with a clear head ready to work.
5. You don’t need to complete everything right now.
This is one I struggle with a lot. I feel like the second I get an email I have to respond, or if something asks me to edit something on their website I have to finish it right away. Most people won’t expect you to email back or complete a project immediately. It’s okay to say, I’m done working for today but I’ll get to this first thing tomorrow.
6. Sleep is for sleep.
Don’t get emails in the middle of the night. I’m guilty of this one too. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and feel the need to check my emails or get some more work done. This is never a good idea. You wont be doing your best work when you’re half asleep. If you wake up and remember something you need to get done, simply write it down and try to go back to sleep. You’ll get to it in the morning.
7. Disable the email feature from your phone.
This has been a lifesaver for me. When you’re constantly getting emails sent to your phone it forces you to constantly be in work mode. I found myself out with friends, or even at the gym feeling the need to look at my phone, check my emails and respond immediately. Once I disabled that feature from my beloved iphone it was a lot easier to separate work time from personal time.
Working from home can be wonderful. It gives you the flexibility to do what you what when you want. But if you find yourself struggling between your work life and personal life, try some of these tips to get yourself back in balance.