Many workers are experiencing the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely for the first time. One of the overarching challenges for those working from home is finding balance. While the quest for a work-life balance is nothing new, the work-from-home model adds complexities to the issue.
Here are six tips you can implement today to help you find balance while working remotely.
Use the Right Programs
Whether you’re managing a team of employees or simplifying your employment experience, the right programs and software can make working remotely much more enjoyable. The key is to stay connected with your team and ensure everyone has access to the information and details they need.
Fortunately, the internet and cloud technology has made it easy to access and use tools to stay connected. It wasn’t long ago that you couldn’t fax to email or work together on a live document. Now, you can connect via video chat with people from around the world and type in the same document without worrying about outdated versions and saving over someone’s work.
Ensure you have the tools you need to stay focused and productive while working remotely.
Create a Morning Ritual
Some people prefer to wake up and plug in, and that’s fine. However, there’s merit to delaying the work and giving your mind time to adjust to the day ahead.
Instead of waking up and checking your email, create a morning ritual to ensure your self-care is the first thing that happens each day. Your morning ritual could include a five-minute mindfulness session before you get out of bed, 10 minutes of gentle stretching, or a glass of water while waiting for your kettle to boil.
If you have kids at home, this is also a great way to steal a moment of peace before taking on the day.
Set Boundaries for Yourself and Others
Setting boundaries can be difficult when working from home. Try to adhere to office hours, and refuse to check emails or take meetings outside that time frame. Set the boundary with those you work with as well, and let them know when they can expect to hear back from you. You’ll also need to set boundaries with your family if you’re sharing the space.
It’s integral that you also set boundaries for yourself. Work to stay logged off during your downtime, and don’t pressure yourself to handle more. Be precious with your time.
Practice Time Blocking
Time blocking is a time management technique that helps you outline when specific tasks will be completed and how you can implement other responsibilities and activities. By engaging in batch working – grouping similar tasks together – you can stay productive and schedule your time effectively.
Remember to add time blocks for non-work activities, like exercise and family time. By scheduling these activities like an appointment, you improve the likelihood of accomplishing them (without burning out).
Use a Productivity Technique
Consider using a productivity system, like the Pomodoro technique to be productive while giving yourself a chance to step away and come back fresh. Pomodoro typically uses 25-minute work sessions followed by a five-minute break.
Other effective productivity techniques include setting a Most Important Task (MIT), the E/N/D scheduling technique, and the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.
Create separation between where you work in your home and where you accomplish non-work tasks. This level of separation doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a room dedicated to work. However, it should have some semblance of isolation or notability that sets it apart.
Avoid doing work in bed or in an area where you’ll get distracted by opportunities to procrastinate. If you work in a multipurpose area, put a routine in place to keep it tidy and free of distractions.
With these simple tips, you can find balance while working remotely to avoid burnout and prioritize self-care.