Whether you have a home-based business or are employed by a company that doesn’t require you to come into an office, working from home can have many benefits, including a more flexible time schedule. Managing your time efficiently will play a large role in creating a healthy balance between your work life and your home life.
Set regular hours. When you have a job that allows you to work from home, it can be tempting to change your schedule from day to day for maximum convenience. That strategy can actually backfire. While one of the advantages of working from home is a schedule that allows you to adjust to the demands of life, you’ll actually be more efficient if you set regular hours for yourself. However, you don’t have to necessarily work a traditional nine to five. If you do your best work in the afternoon or evening, carve out time for work later in the day and use your mornings for other activities. If you are a bonafide morning person, use those hours while the rest of the house sleeps to accomplish the bulk of your work. You may even find that working non-traditional hours allows you to get more actual work done with fewer interruptions.
Create a dedicated work space in your home. If your goal is to create a balance between work and home life, you should definitely have a dedicated space in your home that is used solely for work. Depending on what you do, you don’t have to have a separate room just for your job. It may be as simple as a small nook that fits a desk, computer and other necessary supplies. Plus, creating a separate space for work signals to others in the house that you are “at work” and shouldn’t be disturbed. Sure, you may sometimes find yourself returning emails on the couch, but a space to act as a home office will help you compartmentalize the different aspects of work and life.
Plan your time in advance, leaving room for flexibility. Efficient planning may be even more important for people who work from home than those who work in more traditional environments. The very nature of being at home while you work opens the door to a lot of distractions. Who can get work done when there are dishes in the sink or that home project that you didn’t get to over the weekend? Using a product from STARTplanner will help you organize your tasks for work and home, keeping you on course. You can also set goals, track your finances and plan days off. With custom options, you can control how your day, week, month or even year looks for both work and play.
Know when to call it a day. One of the hardest things to do when you work from home can be putting work away. When work is always there, it may be difficult to shut down for the day and focus on your family, friends and home life. Adopt the mindset that when your day is done, you won’t be tempted to check one last email or make one more phone call. Whatever your hours, give yourself credit for the job done and allow yourself to put work away. Remember that a healthy life requires balance.