The importance of work-life balance when working from home
Wikipedia describes work life balance as:
“Work-life balance is typically defined as the amount of time you spend doing your job versus the amount of time you spend with loved ones or pursuing personal interests and hobbies. When work demands more of your time or attention, you'll have less time to handle your other responsibilities or passions.”
Work-life balance looks different for everyone but it all comes down to creating a happy life that includes working and playing.
Ways to improve
1/ Take some time to evaluate your situation. Ask questions like:
Am I enjoying my life to the fullest?
Do I see enough of my family?
Am I working too much?
Am I aligned to my work and life goals?
Asking yourself questions like these often will help you to make adjustments so that you don't steer off track.
Journaling is a great way to gain insight into how you are feeling at any given time and for you to look back on your writing to help you identify any patterns. Journaling is also great for mental health because when done intentionally it can help to get your feelings out and on to paper, thus making you feel lighter and more in control.
Think about what really matters to you and start to prioritise the important stuff. For example it might be important to you to have family time on a weekend with no interruptions. This means that no work is to be done over the weekend so you time block this time off in your diary. However it could mean the opposite. For example, the weekend is your time to work on your business so you time block this in to your diary.
4/ Manage time effectively
Having a good planner will make it easier for you to manage your time effectively. You can use it to block out time for work tasks or personal tasks and can be a constant reminder that your time is precious.
5/ Reflect and refine
It is also a good idea to reflect on what has worked and what hasn't worked. This way you can make changes and refine your life to work for you and make you feel in control.
How do you know if your work-life balance is unhealthy?
You feel tired all the time. You may be sleeping less than 7 hours per night, or you may be having trouble sleeping due to stress.
You're frequently working overtime. You may feel like you need to work more hours in order to get everything done, or you may feel pressure from management to do so.
You often feel irritable or stressed. You may be feeling overwhelmed by your workload, or you may be having trouble coping with the demands of your job.
Your personal relationships are suffering. You may be neglecting your relationships with your family and friends, or you may be feeling distant from them.
You're not taking care of yourself. You may be skipping meals, not getting enough exercise, or not taking time for relaxation.
You're feeling burned out. You may be feeling exhausted, cynical, and unmotivated.
You're having trouble concentrating or making decisions. You may be feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus on your work.
You're getting sick more often. Stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
You're not enjoying your work any more. You may be feeling like your job is taking over your life, or you may no longer be finding satisfaction in your work.
If you're experiencing any of these signs, it's important to take steps to improve your work-life balance. This may involve setting boundaries between your work and personal life, learning to say no to additional work, and taking time for yourself to relax and recharge.
Make time for you
Here are some additional tips to ensure that you have a healthy work-life balance
Track your behaviour day to day. This can be done using a self care planner, a daily tracker or a journal.
Reflect on what is important to you in your journaling and planner.
Set some goals from your priorities. This could be a simple goal as to have a coffee with a friend you haven't seen for ages.
Schedule everything in a planner.
Set boundaries for you and let your family know what you expect from them.
Stay healthy-eat healthy, exercise regularly (even if this is just going for a short walk each day) and get into the habit of a good sleep routine.
Start using a self care planner to record everything.
Make time for you and your family on a regular basis.
Learn to delegate. This could be as simple as getting someone else to put a load in the washing machine or to hoover throughout the house.
As you can see, having a healthy work-life balance is important and helps reduce burn out and stress. When you are happier you are more likely to be more motivated and productive and this will show in your work and in your day to day life.
Check out the self care planner below and start getting the balance just right for you.