One of the great trends in the corporate world is embracing remote working. Working from home offers myriad benefits to oneself, including more family time and saving of funds used in getting to work daily. However, the downside of working from home is that one might struggle to strike a balance between work and home life.
Affecting either side, one might overwork, leaving no time for family members even when you are present at home, or one would manage time poorly leading to less productivity for work. Notably, striking a balance between home and work life takes lots of organization and discipline.
The following productivity hacks will help you strike the balance between home and work life while remote working from your residence.
#1- Create Space Solely for Working
The number one productivity hack to ensure you don’t get caught up in the struggle of balancing home and work life is separating the two even at home. You can achieve this by separating your workspace from your personal space. While some use their bedroom as a private workplace at home, you might need to set up a home office space instead to achieve maximum productivity.
You might need to choose any place within your house that is well lit and if possible besides a window with a perfect set of ergonomics. Keeping your home office space tidy and organized is recommended to have you reduce mental clutter while tasking. Validating the need for time allocation for each life, Kelly Basile and Alexandra Beauregard’s academic research, home, and work boundaries mold together.
#2- Create a Daily and Weekly Working Schedule
Another productivity hack that might help in striking the much-needed balance between work and home life is the creation of a working schedule. Here you need to create a schedule entailing the tasks to be done, meetings, and even break times. A great way to have this handled is using a calendar app such as Time Doctor, Toggl, or Google Calendar or handwriting it all.
#3- Write Down Your Goals
Working without a goal is like driving with no defined destination! Hence, writing down your goals remains to be a great productivity hack to help you attain balance working at home with home life. The true value of writing the goals down is the ability to audit the achievement of the written goals. After all, you cannot account for goals in your mind in a transparent way or without bias at times.
According to research done at Dominican University, the mean achievement score of groups that wrote down their targeted goals was significantly higher compared to the group that failed to write their goals. However, writing down goals shouldn’t just happen by coincidence or to have this done.
You might need to ensure that the written goals are SMART. This means that you will have specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals in your schedule to ensure you hit optimal productivity levels.
#4- Try to Balance Out Work and Free Time
The first mistake we make when trying to achieve greater productivity is having work take over our personal life, having it rob us of our dear free time. It is neither wrong to burn the midnight oil nor is it wrong to work during that break. However, it would be entirely hazardous both for your work and health if you didn’t create some free time at times you work to replace the lost free time.
Studies have shown that people working at home for long without taking breaks will in most cases be less productive than those who took breaks in between their tasks. A famous story of the lumberjack competition explains this better. While the young and energetic lumberjack fell trees without stopping, the old one fell trees taking shorter breaks to sharpen his ax. In a similar way, take advantage of your free time as a perfect time to have a breather and relax your mind before resuming to work.
#5- Limit Distractions to Increase Productivity
Deciding to work is quite easy, but with distractions, your efforts might be scaled down to nothing. Setting effective boundaries is crucial in maintaining a balance between your work life and the distraction-filled home life. Put your phone away, or in the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode to avoid distractions from calls, emails, and other notifications.
However, you can respond to some distractions like family emergencies. Here, you can take some time from work to handle the emergency. You might need to alert your family that you need distraction-free time for maximum concentration to optimize your productivity levels.
#6- Take Time Off
We all need that long break from our work. However, while working at home, you might gift yourself that long break more often than it should be. Purpose to work during the scheduled time and take some vacation time to be with your loved ones. This might help you relieve stress, especially when work becomes extremely overwhelming.
You may also take some time off when feeling sick. This will help you take care of the same body that achieves massive success when fully healthy. Also, some time off offers a perfect time to rejuvenate both the mind and body for optimal productivity once you resume work.
#7- Prepare Your Meals in Advance
The key reason for adopting this productivity hack is to have both convenience and time management at your disposal. In most cases, having you get in the kitchen every now and then is a big thief of time. At times, you might need to keep getting to the grocery store or supermarket for some foodstuffs. How about you get all that sorted earlier and save yourself time to handle other personal and work goals!
#8- Some Daily Breaks Might Help
Working for eight straight hours is both unhealthy and difficult. Therefore, you might need to schedule breaks in between your work time. As per studies by the Harvard Business School, taking unexpected short breaks yields to increased post-break performance.
The small breaks can be anything between five and twenty minutes, having them occur about five to six times a day. Having the breaks randomized is quite a tip to ensure monotony is not achieved with a daily repetition of similar times.
#9- Get Outside
While working, you can easily go for days without stepping outdoors. This happens especially when you have everything you would possibly need. Having some change of scenery is a great productivity hack to have you take a much required mental break from your home office space.
You might add a few outdoor elements in your home office space such as houseplants, and outdoor paintings to make it feel more natural. However, this won’t replace the need for you to set your feet to the outdoors by working from a new coworking space, for example.
#10- Take Care of Yourself
Last but not least, taking care of yourself is a perfect way to have you strike balance in your work and home life. One might undermine the impact of self-care, but this surely takes on a long way through productivity. Consider taking some time off work to do some exercises as a great way to relieve your body stress accumulated from work.
Hydrating your body and eating healthy might also come in handy as a perfect way to take care of yourself. To reduce the chances of digital eye strain and headaches, you might need to reduce your desktop’s brightness.
With remote working comes a totally different situation, needs, and goals for everyone working at home. Therefore, striking a balance for oneself in work and home life will involve both adaptability and organization of oneself to obligations at hand. The above steps will ensure you are productive enough even when working from home.
About the Contributor
Georgi Todorov is the founder of ThriveMyWay, a place for online entrepreneurs, bloggers, SEO specialists, and freelancers to find success in their own way.