Do you work from home? If so, you’re not alone. A study from the US Census shows that nearly eight million people work from home. Technology is making it easier for people to do everything traditionally done in the office from the comfort of their homes.
Working from home gives you the added perk of saving time spent doing your hair and makeup, commuting and chatting with your co-workers at the water cooler.
However, there’s a downside to remote working: burnout.
In this article, I’ll be sharing some challenges of remote working and tips for improving your work/life balance when working from home.
Work/Life Balance: Working from Home vs. Working at the Office
Modern women are expanding their roles from traditional caregivers to doctors, CEOs, and more. However, this role expansion can expose you to signs of burnout, as you struggle to balance your work life with your personal life AND self-care.
Working from home, especially, can present the following obstacles when maintaining a healthy work/life balance:
- You’re exposed to more distractions at home in the form of unopened mail, clutter, ringing doorbells, and children playing outside
- Separating your home life and work life is difficult when both share the same space
- You can start feeling isolated if you work from home with limited social interactions
- A combination of these challenges and more can lead to burnout
Do you work from home and struggle with something else? Let me know in the comments below.
My Work/Life Balance System
Here are systems I personally use that you can apply in your own life to stay burnout-free.
Ease Into the Morning
Before I begin my workday, I give myself an hour to center myself and engage in my spiritual practices:
- Diffusing essential oils
- Reciting affirmation cards
These practices help me to greet the day at my own pace. Instead of rushing, I enjoy the morning silence with calm intention. This is why I rarely schedule early morning appointments with my clients. Before I give my time away to others, I first give time to myself.
Even Though I Work at Home, I Still Have Work Hours
My secret to staying productive is sticking to a set work schedule.
Imagine working only when you felt like it?
I don’t think I’d ever leave my warm cozy bed! Sticking to a work schedule helps you “leave home” to start the workday.
If you’re wondering how to structure your day working from home, here’s what a typical workday looks like for me…
> 8:30 AM- Work begins with answering emails, handling urgent tasks, and taking client appointments
> 12:00 PM – Take a lunch break
> 1:00 PM – Continue working
> 3:30 PM – Exercise and get my heart pumping
> 4:30 PM – Continue working
> 6:30 PM – Dinner and relax with my husband and cat
Structuring your day helps you stay intentional when it’s time to work, be with family, and wind down. Having a plan for navigating your day helps you create more balance and protect yourself from burnout.
What does your work from home schedule look like? Are you an early bird or do you prefer to work from the afternoon into the evening?
A DO NOT DISTURB Sign Keeps Me Focused (when I use it)
My biggest distraction is my husband, who likes to visit me while I’m working (and when he’s not traveling). When I’m on the phone with a client, I have to signal to him that I can’t talk right now.
If your spouse or small children are at home while you’re working, consider putting a sign on your office door that says DO NOT DISTURB.
This small tip can make a huge difference. It reminds your family that even though they’re home and relaxing, you’re still “working at the office.”
I Set Alarms to Keep My Day Flowing
Working from home, you don’t have somebody to tell you when to work on something else or to take your breaks. You’re responsible for that.
And when you’re deeply focused on work, it’s easy to forget!
That’s why I set alarms for everything — when to take breaks, respond to emails, prepare for a client call, and when to end the workday.
This little alarm helps me fend off burnout by helping me balance work, self-care, and relaxation.
Set a Strict Cut-off Time for Work
Striking a healthy work/life balance can be difficult when your home and work share a space. This makes it easy to sacrifice relaxation to sneak in a few email responses or get a headstart on tomorrow’s workload.
That’s why I set a strict cut-off time for work. I know that whatever tasks come in during the evening can wait until the morning. Until then, I dedicate my time and energy to quality time with my husband and cat.
If you’re still having trouble “leaving work,” try going outside for a walk. When you step outside, imagine you’re leaving the office and when you return, imagine that you’ve arrived at home. Also, creating a designated work area that you physically leave makes separating work from home easier. These extra steps can help prime your mind and body for relaxation.
Do you have any other tips to share with your fellow home-workers to help them achieve better work/life balance? Leave them in the comments below!
Self-Love is Critical to a Healthy Work/Life Balance, Especially When Working from Home
Working from home can save you tons of time that would otherwise be spent on commuting and engaging in office gossip.
If you’re a workaholic and recovering perfectionist, like me, then it’s easy to use that time and dive into more and more work.
However, devoting too much of your time to work can tip your life out of balance. Instead, give that time to the other areas of your life — family, relationships, health, and most importantly self-care.
Caring and loving your body is the catalyst that sparks positive change in your life. That’s why I want to share a special challenge with you: my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge.
During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again).
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
- Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
- Energized, clear and focused
- Calm, easy-going and peaceful
- Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
- Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life