Work-Life Balance for the Remote Worker
Work-life balance is this thing where we feel good about ourselves when we have it. But how can we achieve it when working remotely means the same space is shared? Let’s see how.
Create and respect boundaries
We are governed by rules set by others and ourselves. They help us organize our life and not go out of control. One way to strike a work-life balance is to create boundaries and stick to them. One of these boundaries is physical. If you work from home, make sure to find a physical space organized for the sole purpose of work in which all the equipment and tools are at your disposal and its environment conducive to sustained concentration and productivity. For instance, you might need a quiet room with lots of lighting and an ergonomic chair for a workstation. A physical boundary will help make a mental demarcation for mentally switching to a work mode even if you haven’t left the home.
Time-management tools can help
Another boundary is time management. How you schedule your time between your work and personal life will help you find a healthy balance. We are so aware of how time goes by so quickly yet we don’t always know what we’ve done with it! Keeping track of our activities can help us manage time and appreciate what is important to us. So many great and affordable tools or apps can help you visualize and identify how you spend your time and what activities you prioritize so you have all the information available to make adjustments. Having identified what activities are important to us on a daily basis, we can then divide time slots accordingly. One example of a guideline is to separate the 24 hours equally into 8 hours for work; 8 hours of play; and 8 hours of rest. It’s crucial to abide by these boundaries for work-life balance. By the time you go to sleep at the end of the day, you’ll feel happier knowing that you did everything in your power to have these priorities met.
Mind and body staying in the present
Another essential aspect of work-life balance requires us to devote our full attention to the activity at hand. In order to not get overwhelmed by the workload at work or by the responsibilities at home is to carry on with the day we have scheduled for ourselves and go through each item one at a time. It’s not always easy, but the simple act of following through with what is required of your day is how you naturally get things done! No need to think way ahead in apprehension and get needlessly anxious about what’s to come, or have the mind wander back in time and ruminate on how you could have improved the things that happened in the past. The future things haven’t happened yet and the past things have already occurred. How counterproductive!
The only thing within your control is the present moment. As you shift your focus on what needs to happen right now, you will find comfort in knowing that you are spending your time doing exactly what you are supposed to. Are you supposed to finish that presentation right now? Give it a go! Or maybe it’s time to prepare for dinner? Enjoy cooking! Do you need a coffee break right now? No problem! Enjoy the sipping!
Work-life balance = Healthy mind & body
Lastly, a healthy body and mind constitute the essential tools that make work-life balance so much easier to achieve. We all like to be stimulated and challenged but also rewarded. At work or in life, it’s good to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, try and learn something new, tackle a more difficult project, and add more roles and tasks, but it’s also good to celebrate our wins, no matter how small. Achieving all these goals on a daily basis is much easier when we stay in shape. For a healthy mind, indulge in a little time off after a long period of physical or mental exertion to recharge your batteries, turn off all your alert notifications to completely disconnect and keep your stress levels in check, go for a walk or have a quiet warm bath for some nice relaxation, have time for fun and play with loved ones, practice meditation to be restored and stay in good spirits. For a healthy body, make it a priority to have enough quality sleep, nutritious food, and daily physical exercises.
Do you sit all day because of work? Some suggestions:
- No wastebasket in the office room. Get up whenever you need to throw something out.
- Need a sip of your cup of joe? Walk to the kitchen every time.
- Have a phone call? Stand up while you talk.
- Catching yourself yawning? Stretch your arms and legs.
Shirley is a Vacation Tracker occasional contributor. She’s held a few positions in communications, marketing and copywriting. When she’s not at her laptop, you can find her daydreaming about her laptop and chasing the sun while people watching.