by Shari Talbot
Working from home can be amazing. Set your own schedule. Work when you feel like working. Take time off to travel or pursue your passions. Unfortunately, building a business can be all-consuming, and the flexibility we desire doesn’t always come to pass. For many, working from home can really get in the way of home life.
Here are some things you can do keep balance between your career and your personal time. Choose the ones that most fit your lifestyle and try them out. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best for you.
Set a Weekly Goal
When you allow it, work will always find a way to creep into every unused space in your day. Track your time to see how you are spending it. If you are not already doing this, try an online time tracker or app like Toggl, to see where your time is going. This will help you set realistic goals. You may choose to work 10, 30 or 60 hours a week. The number doesn’t matter but try to stick to it.
Consider Life Priorities
Ask yourself what you want to accomplish most. What are your dreams and aspirations? Are you young and single with no other commitments? Maybe financial goals are most important to you right now. If you have a family, you may wish to have more time to devote to them. Perhaps your goals include spending time on spiritual growth or helping out in your community. Decide on your biggest priorities and set your schedule accordingly.
Consider Daily Priorities
Most of us have to-do lists a mile long. These can be completely overwhelming and often stop us from focusing on the things that are most essential. Try choosing 3-5 priority tasks each day and commit to doing those before you do anything else.
If you have kids at home, declare device-free times, for example, during meals or specified family times. Try turning off at a pre-determined time each night to spend time with your spouse. You may even decide to take a whole day each week to spend with family and help you avoid burnout. Even if you are single, spending time with friends and family is important.
Take Advantage of the Flexibility
Sometimes, you will need to abide by schedules for phone calls, meetings and deadlines, but often, working from home means you get to set your own schedule. Pay attention to what you are good at. If you are most alert at 5:00 in the morning or 10:00 at night, do your thought-required tasks then. If you are always tired at 3:00, take a break then, or use the time for mundane tasks such as stamping envelopes
Sometimes, we need to admit that, despite our best efforts, we cannot do it all. Perhaps it’s more important to do the essentials well and worry less about the rest.
Few of us ever attain the work-on-the-beach lifestyle we dream of but working remotely doesn’t have to drain our personal resources either. Ensuring you have enough time for relationships and personal development will be freeing, good for your mental health, and will likely allow you to produce higher quality work in the long run.
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