Micheal Gilmore is a blogger and editor at Resumesplanet.com. He enjoys writing about business, marketing, productivity and personal growth. In his parallel life, he loves hiking and can’t wait to see the Himalayas one of these days.
Whenever I say that I’m working as a freelancer writer, people around me believe that working from home is easy. That it takes less effort than a regular full-time job and gives you more time to live your life.
There are some definite benefits such as working whenever I want and having a flexible schedule. BUT…the truth about working from home is far from what people believe.
If you’re a professional who chose to go on this path, you likely have already realized that distractions and life often stand in your way. Creating harmony in your life is difficult when working for yourself. When you’re on your own, there are many things that drag your productivity down.
And so the unproductive cycle begins. When you’re no longer productive, you become stressed out. Your conscience screams out loud. Then you decide to work harder. The next thing you know – your life is completely out of balance. You start neglecting other areas of your life, and that’s never good.
So what’s the solution? Simple: find and cultivate a work-life balance system that works best for you. It must suit your lifestyle and yours only. In order to find this balance, you must go through a trial-and-error process. This process consists of failing, getting back up, failing again, getting back up again, and eventually succeeding.
Here are five effective insights that should help you create a better work-life balance while working from home:
1. Plan Your Activities Properly
Your planning should start off with a goal setting process. You must develop long and short term goals that are interconnected. Let’s say you set three yearly goals. Put down a list of wishes and select which one you’d like to become a reality. After you have these three big goals, create monthly goals according to your yearly goals.
Then, continue with the weekly and daily ones. Each of the three daily goals that you set must be firstly connected to your weekly goals, then to your monthly goals, and ultimately to your yearly goals.
You’ll come across setbacks and challenges, and you must always overcome them. If you manage to stay committed and extremely focused on your objectives, you’ll have peace of mind, and you’ll be able to give more time and attention to other parts of your life.
2. Protect Your Work Time
Do you know who your biggest enemy is? If you haven’t realized by now, it’s you…and just you. We often sabotage ourselves by performing under our expectations. Our mindset also carries a huge role when it comes to organizing time. If you want to stay productive—and also maintain your work-life balance—you must assess your time spending habits.
Secondly, you must learn how to say no. Your closest ones will always expect you to be there, but you shouldn’t always comply with their requests. The biggest problem comes when you give your time to people who don’t even deserve it or are not even that close to you.
If you want to perform well, you must treat your time with respect. Time is the only resource that never comes back, and it’s your most valuable asset. If you manage to stay focused and be productive in your work time, work-life balance will improve because you’ll have time for other things.
3. Take Close Care of Your Health
Your physical and mental health should never be neglected. No matter what type of job you have, working from home can be very tricky. The stress you accumulate is going to influence your mental health in the long-term. As you know, staying all day in front of a computer will make you go insane. This is why it is important to have a good nutrition plan, exercise regularly, and pay attention to your condition.
If your energy levels are low, you must change some aspects of your life. Less sugar, fewer chemicals, more vitamins, and healthier foods is a great approach to try.
4. Take Intentional Time Off
You should never overwhelm yourself with your work. When you are overwhelmed, your productivity decreases, and soon the harmful cycle mentioned above starts over. Disconnecting from your work is the best way to remain consistent and committed to what you do.
Spend more time in nature, change your workplace environment, or do an activity you enjoy. Working less—but with more passion and focus—will turn out to be more productive for you rather than working more hours each day.
5. Always Start Your Day Strong
The first hours of each morning are critical to your success. This time influences your entire day. Treat these hours with respect to ensure higher productivity levels and more balance. A morning routine where you follow the same steps each day helps create small but efficient habits. For example, whenever I jog in the morning, I choose to listen to an instructional audiobook. I strengthen my body and mind at the same time and feel a great sense of accomplishment and momentum.
Make the morning yours, and don’t let anyone interrupt you. Leave your e-mails for later. Answer that important message in a few hours. Don’t allow helpful tools to control you. Remember, you are the one in charge.
Maintaining a work-life balance is important for your health, happiness, and your overall wellbeing. You can’t expect to live a good life if you’re neglecting your relationships and spend all of your time focused on work.
Balance does not come overnight. Work within your routines as much as possible and keep making small adjustments to improve. Eventually, each habit will become natural, and you will start to see growth in many areas of your life.