Work-life balance is important. Poor work-life balance is a major risk for all home-based professionals.
When you’re working from home, you have the freedom to work as much or as little as you want, with your loved ones nearby.
One problem is when you’re working from home, the lines between your work and home life get blurry. And, what initially starts as a dream, quickly degrades into a nightmare, if things aren’t set straight.
Here are 17 ways to help you balance and enjoy your life more. Things that will help to maintain a proper work-life balance while working from home.
Work-Life Balance Definition
What is a work-life balance? Work-life balance is defined as:
The lack of opposition between work and other life roles. It is the state of equilibrium in which demands of personal life, professional life, and family life are equal. Work-life balance consists of, but it is not limited to, flexible work arrangements that allow employees to carry out other life programs and practices. – Wikipedia
Why Is Work-Life Balance Important?
The work-from-home lifestyle has the potential to be one of the most empowering, uplifting, and positive out there. It allows you the freedom to structure your time allowing you to thrive, attend to family obligations, and relax.
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Often, when people hear that someone works from home, they imagine that every day consists of working from a laptop on the beach and sipping cocktails in the process.
However, for many people, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
For one, working from home can be tougher than formal employment because it’s difficult to draw the line between work life and home life.
If you’ve got kids, it can be even more of a challenge as your attention is often divided. And the more you divide up your attention, the less of a functioning human you can become.
Why is work-life balance important? Because without it, your mental state, your work, your relationships and everything in between can easily take a hit for the worse.
Balancing work at home life and family life is challenging, but with a little knowledge and planning, you can make it work for you.
17 Powerful Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance
If you can relate all too well with this and are looking for work-life balance tips, here are a few worth trying. Consider this a work-life balance how-to!
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1. Start Early
Most people complain about not having enough hours in a day, but if you woke up earlier, you just might.
Resolve to get up an hour or two before the kids do so that you can give your day the kickstart it needs and work in peace.
The reality is that getting up earlier gives you a chance to meditate, eat breakfast, exercise or organize your day. Before you even sit down to tackle your emails, tasks, clients and so forth.
2. Stick To A Schedule
When you’re a work from home mom, you have a list of different priorities which can all hold a similar level of importance.
For instance, your kids eating dinner and you meeting a client deadline are both crucial tasks that have to get done.
For this reason, focus on sticking to a schedule so that you can get everything done within the right timeframe.
To stick to your daily routine, it’s advisable that you identify and eliminate as many distractions as possible.
Keeping track of your business and family duties can help take away stress because you know what’s coming up and you are better able to plan.
Try to keep a set schedule from day to day and week to week if you can.
Write your notes where you and everyone can see them, such as a whiteboard. I’m such a visual person one little whiteboard wasn’t going to do the trick for me.
So when it came time for me to put together a home office, I actually painted an entire 10 foot wall with whiteboard paint so I can draw all over it with dry-erase pens.
It’s been so helpful!
Include a schedule on your wall that your family can write on, see appointments and events, a meal plan to let them know (and you know) what’s for dinner, and a place to leave each other notes and reminders.
Here are some great ideas for how to create a stylish and functional home office command center.
3. Do Things Outside Of The House
When you work from home, it can be so tempting to not leave the house for days at a time unless it’s for something urgent.
However, this won’t help in your quest to attain work-life balance as at times; you need to change environments to actually switch off.
Think about planning an outing at least once a month so that you can get away from work and your responsibilities at home for a few hours.
Work-Life Balance Quotes:
You don’t have to make yourself miserable to be successful. It’s natural to look back and mythologize the long nights and manic moments of genius, but success isn’t about working hard, it’s about working smart. ― Andrew Wilkinson, founder of MetaLab
4. Make Lists And Monitor Productivity
At times, you find yourself up working at two or three in the morning, not only because it’s quiet, but because you aren’t being as productive as you could be during the day.
Take a few days out to observe how your days are spent and when you’re most productive.
You may find that you work better early in the morning or that getting things done in a café as opposed to at home boosts your productivity.
Understand your working style and what hampers your productivity and work on making the most of the hours that you have.
Read this super helpful guide on how to be more productive when working from home.
Take 5-10 minutes before bed every night to plan your to-do list for the following day.
Doing so will set your mind at ease because you’ll know what you need to do tomorrow, and it will, literally, be planned out.
The other fantastic thing about doing this is that because it’s already made, as soon as you wake up, you can hit the ground running.
With small children, it’s hard to know when you’ll be able to be productive and actually get work done. Sometimes, your kids need extra cuddles or stay home from school sick, or generally mess up your schedule.
Planning ahead your to-do list gives you a very real idea of what you can do when you get 10-15 minute pockets of time between kid interruptions.
While the toddler is eating lunch, you know exactly which phone call you should make. Is the baby napping?
Finish your invoices or put in your orders. All of those little things add up to a productive day, and you don’t waste those precious few minutes wondering what you could be doing.
5. Establish an office space and do all your work there
Ideally, your “home office” is a room dedicated to your work. With a door that closes and furnishings helping you work effectively, it, also, contributes a sense of professionalism.
If, however, this isn’t possible for you at the moment — you must at least set aside a corner of your home which will serve as your workstation.
You must do all your work here, and nothing but your work.
Having a set “working area” which is clearly distinct from the rest of your home, is a key step in preventing your work from spilling over into your private life, or vice versa.
Furthermore, the last thing you want is to be double-checking a project while watching TV with your family, or ignoring your partner to organize your email inbox in bed.
6. Define A Difference Between Work Time And Personal Time
One of the major causes of work-life imbalance is a lack of productivity during designated working hours. It leads to a combination of guilt and necessity.
That drives you to continue working during your private time, in order to catch up.
One of the best remedies for this problem is to improve your time management skills, and successfully get yourself working at the right times.
To improve your time management, you need to work on tracking how you spend your time while also taking practical, and modest steps, to improve your habits, bit by bit.
7. Coordinate your timetable with that of your family
When working from home, you have a lot of freedom in how you structure your working day. The downside to this is that you may feel compelled to procrastinate until the last moment each day.
The upside to this, is that you get a handle on your time and exert some self-control. You work when your family is at work or school, freeing you up when they are home.
Balancing your timetable with your family is a great motivation to keep your work-life balance in order.
You will quickly miss those late afternoon games and cuddles if you become complacent and let your timetable drift.
Work-Life Balance Quotes:
Don’t confuse having a career with having a life. ― Hillary Clinton
8. Set realistic goals
Setting goals gives you a target to reach for. Not having any will cause you to waste time and energy.
You can also look back and see all you’ve achieved to help you continue growing your business.
Set goals in your personal life and with your family, too. This will help your family live a more purposeful life and reach things you all want to accomplish.
When setting your goals, be realistic and don’t stretch yourself too thin. Take big goals and break them up in smaller reachable goals.
Have a listen to this HerPaperRoute Podcast episode (or read the show notes!) where I break down how you can set and achieve goals as an entrepreneur.
9. Take time for yourself
It’s natural for moms to sacrifice themselves for their family.
Yet, it’s important to remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.
Give yourself a few minutes of “you time” to relax and recharge. Give yourself with a manicure, exfoliate or just sit down with a good book.
I’ve found that simply putting on a bit of makeup in the morning, even though I’m not going out anywhere or seeing anyone just makes me feel better and more productive throughout the day.
10. Exercise and Eat Right
The healthier you are, the more productive you will be.
Exercise and eating right t is not only a great way to stay healthy and gain energy, but it’s also a great way to spend time with your kids.
Instead of hitting the gym, go play ball in the park or take them for a walk. Sit down to eat with your family or take a break from business tasks.
11. Take time off
You own your business, it does not own you so don’t let it take all your time.
Taking short and longer periodic breaks will not only let you spend extra time to enjoy with family, but it also helps you recharge and make you more effective in your business.
Taking regular breaks also helps you be better prepared to manage unforeseen circumstances when they arise.
Schedule time off and stick to with it. You, your family and your business will be happier and healthier for it.
Work-Life Balance Quotes:
You Can Have It All. You Just Can’t Have It All At Once- Oprah Winfrey
When making your to-do lists, figure out the things that are most important for you to do and get them done first.
If there isn’t enough time to do everything, you won’t feel as bad about what you have to cut. A work at home life is all about using your time efficiently.
It requires focusing on priorities and not getting piled up with lots of small menial and often unneeded tasks.
13. Take classes or join a group
You may be a solopreneur but you don’t have to be alone. Isolation is a downfall of running a business and many stay-at-home moms experience it, too.
You may be both!
Taking classes and joining groups will help you meet new friends and also help you network with other people.
14. Watch for burn out
Even if you schedule everything, take breaks, and do everything else above, what you’re doing may just be too much for you.
Watch yourself for changes in mood or physical problems. They could be a sign that you’re burnt out and need to make some changes to your plans.
Remember, your health is important. Don’t feel like you have to it all in place all the time.
Some days won’t go the way you planned. Let your schedule and goals be a guideline, not a strict rule you have to feel upset about if it goes off course once in a while.
Essential reading on burnout:
- How to stay committed to your business when it’s not easy or fun.
- How to beat burnout – advice from 8 women female owners who’ve been there.
15. Learn to say no
If you want to have a successful work at home life and family life, you will have to learn to say no occasionally.
If you try to do everything, you’re going to burn yourself out and not be able to take care of anyone. Being a good entrepreneur and a good parent doesn’t mean you need to do everything you’re asked.
16. Create A Robo-You
By creating a robo-you I mean to make use of as many automation tools as possible. Automation tools are things that take over specific business and marketing tasks that eat up your time.
- Use ConvertKit to automatically send emails to your subscribers.
- Use SmarterQueue to auto-recycle your blog posts and sales pages across social media.
- Use Tailwind to auto-pin your content across Pinterest.
- Use MiloTree to automatically convert your website traffic into email subscribers and social followers.
- Train your website to automatically run aspects of your business for you.
17. Hire help
Look over your tasks at home and in your business. Some of those could be handed off to someone else to handle.
This will free up time for you to do those things you can only do.
Are the household duties fairly split 50/50 with your partner? Have him to take on more at home or with the kids so you have more time for your business and self.
What chores could you give your children in exchange for an allowance?
How about hiring a part-time nanny to watch little ones so you work on tasks that need your total concentration.
Get help managing your online marketing by hiring a virtual assistant, or taking on an apprentice. Here’s how to get an apprentice/VA for free.
Hire an in-person assistant to help you in getting orders ready to ship out. Or better yet, drop-ship and remove filling orders and shipping from your to-do list completely.
All these will leverage you more time to do those things that earn you money and grow your business, plus make your home a happier place.
17 Powerful Ways To Improve Work Life Balance
Work at home life has numerous advantages and freedoms compared to working outside the home. It can be one of the most exhilarating experiences because of the level of freedom you have.
However, to ensure you make the most of your freedom, having structure and creating time for yourself could take you a long way.
You still have to work at it to create a healthy and happy balance between work and family life. But as you can see with these work-life balance tips there are ways of making it easier.
I hope you’ve found these work-life balance tips helpful. Let me know in the comments which one most resonated with you.
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