When you run your own business, juggling the work life balance was always a tricky one to master. Now the landscape has changed and more people are having to work from home, instead of hot desking, working from an office or coffee shop. Making the start and end of the day somewhat hard to distinguish as well as potentially fitting in some home schooling. It’s easier to suffer from “work from home burnout” How can we “leave work” when we can’t actually leave work. I can’t remember how many times in the past 10 weeks I’ve had to ask “what day is it again?” Higher levels of stress and less boundaries all contribute to feeling like you might not be able to switch off and leaving you wondering how much you’ve actually achieved today?!
Here’s some ideas of how you can strike the balance and keep on loving what you do every day:
Start and End of Day Routines:
If you’re used to commuting, go for a walk instead. It helps clear the mind, focus on your daily to do list and gets you out of the house if you find it tricky to do this during the day.
Work clothes, it sounds odd and it doesn’t have to be a full suit (but you can if you want!) Even if it’s jeans and a smart top, it puts your mind into business mode instead of what you might relax in at the weekend.
Daily to-do list/what you would like to achieve that day. This is a really important one. A) it gives you focus, you can methodically work through each task, one after the other and B) when you finish for the day, you can see all of the things you’ve achieved. If you’re juggling home schooling, looking after children, relatives who are shielding, it’s easy to feel like you’ve not got anything done! By tracking your progress, it can give you an energy boost, lifts your mood and makes you feel more productive. You could use something like Trello or even Google Keep notes.
It doesn’t have to be an entire room, or even an office desk in the corner of the dining room, it can be a chair at your dining room table. But this is your one and only workspace so that when you’re working, everyone in the house knows your working. Instead of standing in the kitchen answering emails for example and others in the house don’t necessarily know that’s what you're doing so start up a conversation. At your work station you can set boundaries and most importantly, walk away from it at the end of the day.
Turning Off Distractions
Whatsapp, Facebook, emails, Instragram, News alerts can all distract you from completing your tasks. We’ve talked previously about multitasking being a myth so if you have some really important work to do, a client project to complete, turn off the things that distract you. We find turning our phones onto airplane mode,logging out Facebook in Chrome and having a conversation with everyone in the house that you need an hour can really help.
When you finish for the day, really finish for the day
It’s a very hard habit to break, but stop checking and replying to emails after your finish for the day.It helps you unwind and gives you time to do things that you love doing outside of your business, reap the rewards of working hard during the day. It also sends a message to external contacts that you do have an off switch and although important, it will be dealt with the next day.
It’s not easy finding the balance, and it’s really important to find ways to continue to love what you do in the working day. Remember to give yourself a break, do the things that energise you in the working day and there’s a wealth of support out there who can help you do this.