Do you work from home full or part-time, and are struggling with maintaining an appropriate work-life balance? It’s so hard! Especially if you’re a small business owner or you work for yourself, it can be very tempting to work at night, on the weekends, and spend a ton of time on your business. Creating a clear separation of work and life is vital to maintaining balance. If you don’t, you run the risk of burning out! When you burn out you’re no use to anyone, including yourself.
Make sure you understand just how important separating your work life and personal life is, and work every day to maintain that break.
Create an Ending Routine
It’s easy to think about jumping on the PC for a just a little bit longer after dinner, or extending your hours into the night ‘just this once’, but that’s a slippery slope. To help shut off your mind and switch your focus, you should start an evening ‘ending routine’.
Your ending routine can be anything that works for you. Maybe it’s checking your email one last time before you shut everything down for the night. Perhaps what will work for you is writing out a ‘to-do’ list for your next day with priority listing and major things that need to be completed.
Whatever works for you, do it every night and be consistent. Once you’ve finished that task, unless it’s an emergency you shouldn’t go back to your work. Soon, every time you do your ‘ending routine’, your mind will be prepared for ending work and readying your evening!
Don’t Drop Hobbies, Friends
This is especially true if you’re just starting out, but every contractor or business owner is guilty of this at some point. It’s easy to drop your hobbies or friends because you’re always busy with working from home. And losing touch becomes a lot easier when you don’t have to leave the house to see people every day!
Make the hobbies that you love and your friends you care about a priority in your life. Schedule in time to do what you enjoy, whether that’s going to the gym, rock climbing, trying new restaurants or playing video games, and stick to it. You might feel ‘guilty’ for not spending more time on your business or at work, but that’s an unhealthy mindset.
Set a Stopping Point and Stick to It
Set a time to stop work for the day and stick to it, no matter what. It doesn’t matter how productive you have been, it doesn’t matter what else you need to do… setting yourself in a routine is going to change the game for your work-life balance.
Whether that’s at 6 pm or 4 pm, set a time and be firm. If you struggle with time management, set an alarm on your phone or computer to go off everyday ten minutes before that time, Monday through Friday. When that alarm goes off, snooze it for 10 minutes and finish up everything you need to do. Save and close documents, write down where you were for the next day, check your email, and run through your ending routine. When the alarm goes off the second time, it’s game over. Leave your computer, shut your office door, and enjoy your evening.