If you are struggling to maintain a work-life balance whilst learning how to work from home, you're not alone. Here's how to check in with your mental and emotional health when working from home and keep yourself focussed and productive.
Everyone wants to have a stable balance and create an easy routine that supports you with your mental and emotional wellbeing, especially when working from home. Lines become easily blurred when you work from home. If you have your kids at home, it can be even more challenging to maintain your mental and emotional health.
This is something I have struggled with in the past but found the following 3 tips ideal to help me set boundaries, stay balanced, and maintain my mental and emotional health when I work from home.
The balance can be forever changing as things change in our lives – like working hours changing around the school run if you have children or have clients in different time zones and team members all over the world. However, there are ways in which you can create new behaviors to make finding that work-life balance easier.
Repeatedly doing these tips will turn them into natural habits. With practice, you will no longer be constantly checking your emails and notifications, or finding work interrupting family time. When learning how to work from home effectively, these boundaries are essential…
1. Know when to quit (and commit to it). What time do you stop working? Are you actually stopping or constantly find yourself dipping in and out of work all day? It can be so easy to lose yourself in work and not realize the time, or notice an email on your phone and get dragged back into work when doing things with family. Instead set yourself a cutoff point. Times when you will stop working and focus purely on the family, or even on housework if that needs doing. That way you cannot use housework as a procrastinator to avoid doing the tasks you really need to complete.
2. Take an actual break from your screens. It is so easy to get absorbed in our phones, even sitting watching TV on an evening we find ourselves checking messages and social media. It is an ingrained behavior and habit for a lot of people in the current society. When you finish for the day and log-off, leave your phone in the office. Or, switch it off so you are not tempted to check out notifications constantly. Especially if your work is done a lot on social media as it will never end and leave you feeling disheartened and without the space to switch off.
3. Silence those apps after hours. If you use your phone to read a book or to communicate with family on an evening then silence your notification apps – such as emails, social media, work-related apps and things like that. Even better, you can delete the apps altogether. While you are still tempted to pick up your phone, you won’t have work notifications or apps to look through.
These really simple actions added into your daily routine can make a huge difference to your work-life balance. They will also support you to maintain your mental and emotional health. Next time you go to reach for your phone, or think just 30 more minutes, stop and consider how much that will take away from your home life side of the balance. It all connects back to your energy and your time. It's up to you to protect that for yourself.