When you work full time, it can be hard to find a good balance between your work life and your family life. When you work full time from home, it becomes even more difficult as you live and work in your office. You don’t want to become a workaholic, but you also can’t afford not to finish your work.
If you’re struggling to balance work and family – or if you’re transitioning to a home office – consider these things:
- Give yourself a designated work space. A private office is preferable, but anything that is specifically your work zone will work (I have a desk in the living room). However you do it, make sure you have a spot that’s for work only. Don’t let your family intrude, and don’t take your work to the kitchen table. Make the distinction.
- Make a work schedule. Your hair stylist doesn’t work whenever she feels like it. She has set hours. You need to do the same thing. Know when you’re going to work, and make sure you’re at your desk when you need to be.
- Clock out. Maybe you prefer to work four, ten-hour days. If that’s the case, don’t work on your day off. Let your work time be work time, and reserve your family time for family. Yes, we sometimes work overtime, but it shouldn’t be the standard.
- Make the most of your breaks. It’s tempting to sit at your desk all morning and work, but it’s not healthy. You need to get up and stretch your legs, so why not make the most of it? When I need to move, I empty and reload the dishwasher. During my next break, I’ll take the dog on a 15-minute walk. When I do these things, it clears a little more time in my schedule so I can spend time with my family when we’re together.
- Work together. When I started working from home, I struggled with the idea that – since I was at home – I should do all the house work. That led to an immaculate house, but then I had to work after hours to complete projects. Now, I wait until my hubby comes home and we cook and clean together.
- Pack a lunch. The biggest time-suck for me was lunch. When the kitchen is ten feet away, it’s tempting to make lunch and grab a snack whenever you’re hungry, but if you don’t have anything prepared you can easily lose an hour or two in the kitchen. Like #5, when that happens you end up working late and losing time with your family.
- Talk about it. Once you’ve done 1-6, talk with your family about it. If you all know the plan, it will be easier to stick with it.