Working from home doesn’t have to mean you never leave work. With technology and gadgets making it so easy for even commuters to work from home at times, learning from personal experience both as a commuter and now a work-from-home CEO, it can be very easy to let the time get away from you when you work in the same place you dwell.
I’m sure many of you can relate: You swear you sat down at 7 a.m. with a coffee in your hand to just check a few “urgent” emails before hoping in the shower and, before you know it, you find yourself sitting at your desk (still in your pajamas) at noon, and you’re nowhere near ready to get up and go to lunch.
Good news is: you’re not alone. Better news is: there are easy ways to break those habits. Here are a few tips for making sure you aren’t missing out on the ‘life’ part of the work-life balance equation:
- Set a schedule and stick to it. The schedule should entail Waking up and showering first before you open your laptop. Open your laptop at a time that works for you and your business and close it at 6 p.m. – even if you’re not done with the day’s work! Now, of course there can be some wiggle room for big deadlines or urgent matters and most entrepreneurs know that an 8-hour work day is a myth. But if you find yourself at your desk from dusk to dawn every day, something is wrong. Give yourself a set start and stop time and try to stick to it. If you have to go back to it, fine but that’s where the next tip comes in.
- Take breaks. A few of them. When you’re in the zone it’s easy to sit in front of your computer for hours on end. The moment you find yourself out of that flow, take that as a hint. Step away from your desk. Eat lunch away from your desk. Walk to that café across the way or sit at your kitchen table or patio to grub. The main point is: step away from your desk! In the late afternoon, take 15 minutes to stretch your legs and give your brain a rest. Take your dog for a walk, call your wife, Facetime your kids, say hi to your neighbor. Or just close your eyes for a few minutes and let your body and mind rest. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you will be after.
- Schedule your personal life. Make dinner reservations or plans for drinks. Buy tickets to a movie in advance. Set an alarm to remind yourself when you have 30 minutes left in your work day. You’re probably an executive who schedules meetings for work all day. This should be easy for you. Don’t forget to fit some “life action items” into your schedule.
- Find time to exercise. It’s not only proven that exercise relieves stress and is good for your health, but you will also find you will be more productive. When you start or end your day feeling like you’ve accomplished at least one task, it helps to put you in the right mindset for success. So get up early and go for a run, or end your day with a hike at sunset.
- Separate your work- life space. Create a designated area for your home office. Even if you have to re-design or re-model certain spaces in your home, you’ll find the ROI is more than worth it. If you don’t have a whole room to play with, set up your desk, office equipment and supplies in one specific area. This way, when you leave that space you have left work and vice-versa. If you turn your entire home into your work space, you will never feel like you ever truly step away. Working from home can make you feel a bit stir crazy. It’s important to feel like you can leave work and you can only do this if the spaces are separate, at least in your mind.
The post It’s Possible: Five Ways to Have the “Work-from-Home” Life Balance appeared first on Home Business Magazine.