Work-From-Home Hacks: 5 Ways to Establish a Work-Life Balance
Nothing quite compares to living life on your own terms, working your own schedule from home, a local coffee shop, around the kids or while you are travelling. The side-hustle revolution is here and the opportunity to earn your dream income from your laptop or mobile phone has never been more accessible. Do enough searching on Facebook or Instagram and you’ll find that some people’s side-hustles have turned into lucrative businesses which they now fully live off. Great thing is, these opportunities are now available to just about everyone who is willing to take the chance. Here is why I did and some of the hacks I've learnt to get the best out of my time and productivity while working from home.
Being a Graphic Designer and serial online business owner it is no lie I like being behind the computer screen. But if I'm not careful it can be a dangerous trap. When you're so passionate about something and creating your own empire it can be easy to get caught in an online rabbit hole of long days and nights behind the screen. And if you’re not cautious, you’ll not only be neglecting your health but also get burned out easily (I speak from experience). In the early days of any business and creating success the hours are needed yes, but don't glorify over working yourself to death. When the power to attain your greatest goals are at your fingertips, there comes great responsibility of achieving work-life balance.
If you are hitting the overwhelm ceiling and truly wanting to find that work-life balance that people talk about, here are some tips I have found that have helped me:
1. Schedule in time blocks
It's time to become very productive with your time. If you are an entrepreneur or working for yourself from home then you understand the horrible habit of procrastination. Truth is our brains can only focus on particular tasks for a short space of time before our imagination and self talk take us down a path called "Wasting Time Lane". For us to get the most out of everyday and feel we are moving forward it is important to prioritise and put time limits on tasks, the same as if you were working for someone else. Grab out your phone and set the STOP WATCH to 20:00 minutes. 20 minutes seems to be the most amount of time your brain can completely concentrate on one given task. Work out 3 - 4 tasks you want to complete over the day, set them at 20 minutes each and feel your stress levels lessen. If the alarm goes off and you haven't finished your task, don't stress, move on to another and you can come back to it later. Be structured and ridged with yourself!
2. Take a lunch break
This is something I have always struggled with, even when working for someone else. If there's work to do lunch often gets missed or you end up eating at your desk. The problem is you start to say to yourself "I'm so busy", "I have no time", "I never get a break" and all of this self talk only leads to more of the same thing. Be kind on yourself and take the break you need. It only needs to be half an hour but step away from the computer screen, make yourself some lunch and breath. It's a little self care and your work will be much better when you return to it after replenishing yourself.
3. Turn off notifications
Turning off notifications is something EVERYONE talks about but for good reason. For a long time I never listed to this advice. Until one day I was so overwhelmed, procrastinated the entire day away and felt more stressed at 5pm then what I did when I started the day. Enough is enough! It's time to turn your notifications off and do your work! If you were in a job working for someone else it would not be acceptable, so it's not acceptable in your home office either!
4. Get out and about
Having a home office can be great BUT it's easy to procrastinate, do the house work, jump up to the fridge and grab a chocolate (I KNOW!). So get out! Go to a local coffee shop with wifi, grab a coffee, set your timer and do some work. You will get so much more done. When you have to justify your coffee purchases to your husband as lease you will be able to prove your productivity and therefore more money should be coming in.
5. Make to-do lists
Again this is something we practice within an employed environment so why wouldn't we do it when working for ourselves? Outlining what tasks you NEED to get done and the ones you WANT to get done on a daily basis. Also having a ROLL OVER list, if you didn't get something done today then you MUST get it done tomorrow. Having a NEED and WANT list is very important. When working for yourself there are many tasks we want to complete however which ones are truly serving us? On the NEED list are things that are going to bring in income, following up customers, clients work, email campaigns, running promotions. These tasks are going to bring in income so should be the priority (as we all need to make a living). Secondly create a WANT list, this is for all of those tasks you want to complete but can often just be 'fluff' - social media posting, Instagram Stories, creating a flyer etc. All fun but sometimes not going to bring in the bacon. The ROLL OVER list is also important, mostly because no task on your list should go unattended, unless of course you have decided it's a waste of your time. It's on your list for a reason so get to it as soon as you can. I love this priority list from Office Works, I use it everyday, AND only $3.30.
We all get into certain rhythms, so some of these tasks may be challenging to do at first, but make the effort. Practise makes perfect. If you really love what you do, create some balance so you can do more of it. Take care of yourself!