Keeping yourself on top of things can sometimes be hard, especially when life calls. Kids have to be picked up, dentist appointments need to be braved and sometimes your cat gets sick!
Working from home can give you the balance that you need to juggle both work and life, as long as you do it right. Have you ever decided to take a short break from your work at home, and ended up watching a whole season of Game of Thrones?
To help you avoid those "short breaks", we created a list of things to think about when working from home, to get the most out of your time away from the office.
1. Find the right time and place
When working from home it has to be clear to both you and others that you are still, in mind, at work. Make sure to create a space that is your office for the day. Work is done there, and nowhere else. This helps to focus and makes sure that no one bothers you.
Every office has opening hours, right? So should yours! Find your best hours to get work done, and stay in your makeshift office during those hours. Are you a morning person, or a night owl? Do you work best sitting long shifts, or do you work better in small bursts? Find what works best for you.
It is super easy to stay on track and to get things done when you know where and when you are going to do it. Having a good tool for planning and structuring your work also helps, of course.
2. Prioritise your present
The ability to be flexible is a valuable skill. But being able to focus on one thing at a time is an even more valuable one, especially in this constant-notification-time we live in.
Making a list of your tasks and rating them after matter of importance helps you to remember what is expected from you during the day. It also gives you the sense of progression that is needed when you are in a familiar setting where time sometimes can seem to stand still.
When you have organized your tasks by priority, fit them into your home office working hours and stick to them! Scheduling tools and electronic reminders can help you keep on track. With all of this said, remember to be flexible! The time spent on working and time spent on personal activities should be balanced. After all, you are working from home for a reason.
As the poster boy of business Richard Branson says: "The key to work-life balance is to be flexible, delegate and make some time for fun."
3. Learn to say no, and yes
Working during hours we are not supposed to be working is something we all probably feel guilty of. Answering emails late at night or checking your phone just one extra time during vacation. When working from home we need to take a stand and make clear boundaries to make sure that we yes, work when we should work, but also that we are free when we are free.
Remember that cat you had to take care of? Well it is never going to get any better if your time at home is either spent doing your work from home, or worrying about not doing it. You decided on your office hours, so keep the office closed otherwise.
When your time off begins, put your phone away and learn how to say no to save yourself both time and energy. Your colleague wants to go over a brief? Sure, schedule a meeting for a time when you are "back at your office" and tell them to prepare the agenda.
Last but in no way least, remember to say yes. Yes to input from your colleagues, yes to different points of views and yes to support from your team. Remember; just because you are home alone, does not mean that your colleagues can not be there to help you! If your company uses a platform that allows everyone to feel involved wherever they are, it's even easier to reach out when you need help with something.
Having the choice to work from home is a sure way to Work-Life Balance. Life happens, and you should be able to be there without missing any work. Take these 3 tips to heart and make sure that your time at the "home office" is well spent!