Maintaining some kind of balance between work and life is hard enough when you’re going out to work, but when you’re working from home, the challenge is even greater. Fortunately, by identifying the problem and really addressing it, you can get your life back without your work suffering.
The team at Get Ahead VA have been working at home for years. Here are our top tips:
1. Get things in perspective
Work is important, but life is important too. We work to earn money, but what’s the point if we don’t have time to spend it? We work to improve the lives of our children, but we undermine that principle if we’re not there for them. When trouble comes, it’ll be hobbies, interests and relationships that affirm who we are, and give us the strength and perspective to get through. Be clear about the importance of keeping work and life in good balance.
2. Whatever you’re doing, give it 100%
If you’re working, work. Get the children off to school or doing a quiet activity, shut the door, turn off social media notifications and get on with it. Likewise, if you’re having fun, have fun! Put your phone on silent and bake the best cake ever, play with your pets, teach your children life skills or lead your sports team to victory. You’ll work better and get more out of life if you’re not distracted.
2. Manage your time
When you work in an office, your time will be partly managed for you. It’s harder at home, but it can be done. If it helps, think of the money: if you’re contracted to do a forty-hour week and you do more, your salary will be going down. Above all, decide when you’re stopping for the day and stick to it…then go and have a lovely evening with whoever you share your life with.
3. Find hobbies
Hobbies and interests are very important for a well-rounded life. They give us something to look forward to when we’re not working, and can provide structure to our free time. It’s important to value our achievements in life as well as at work – if you’ve learned to knit and just finished your first scarf, you should be very proud of yourself! Interests help us affirm that we are more than just workers – we all take pride in our work, but letting it dominate can lead to burnout.
4. Assert yourself
Don’t let colleagues make life difficult for you. If you need to book a phone call, politely tell your colleague or client when you’re free and ask if that would suit them. Don’t wait for them to suggest 5pm on a Friday and then grumble because you’ve had to postpone wine o’clock!
5. Have at least one day off each week
It’s really important to protect your days off – for most people, this is the weekend. Most team members will respect this and leave you alone. Ask your partner, family or friends to help – make plans together for how you’ll use your non-work time, even if it’s just watching a film, to keep you from drifting back to work. Your colleagues will thank you too!
It’s healthy for us to maintain a good work/life balance. If you’re struggling to let go of some tasks, or there’s so much on your plate that you’re working at weekends, we can help. Let our VAs take some of the pressure off you – contact us today on 01483 332 220 to find out more.