Updated: May 24, 2023
Anyone might get bogged down with work to such an extent that they will have to sacrifice their private life. This might lead to lower efficiency, depression, anxiety, overall dissatisfaction and health issues. Top professionals know how to keep a smart balance in any circumstance — and that’s a crucial ingredient of their success. In this article, we’ll share tips on how to set work-life boundaries as an in-house or remote specialist.
What It’s Important to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
After you learn to set personal and professional boundaries, it will be easier for you to achieve these goals:
- Feel healthier and happier
- Become more productive
- Establish better rapport with people who surround you at work
- Earn more
You’ll be less likely to lose motivation and suffer from burnout. You’ll get more time for your hobbies and family. You’ll learn to prioritize things, activities and values more efficiently.
HR experts state that burnout has become a global problem that negatively impacts staff retention. Over one-half of specialists confess that work commitments made them miss meaningful life events. To overcome this issue, responsible managers strive to modify their corporate culture so as to maintain human potential. Some professionals decide to switch to working from home, hoping it will help them find peace of mind.
According to statistics, remote workers tend to spend more time in front of their computers than their colleagues who go to conventional offices daily. At the same time, they often perform better during the recruitment process, can boast higher retention rates and get more competitive salaries. To succeed at remote work, it’s vital to smartly organize your daily routine.
Let’s switch to the tips on how to solve the work life balance problem!
Learn to Refuse, Reject and Decline
You don’t have to say “yes” to everyone to make an impressive career. Instead, master the art of politely saying “no”. It’s not necessary to explain in detail the reasons for your behavior. It’s enough to decline the offer with a gentle smile. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t want to go to a meeting instead of enjoying your lunch.
Inform Others About Your Habits
It’s the best way to avoid accidentally offending your colleagues. Tell them in advance that you normally don’t answer work-related messages on weekends or late in the evening, except for emergency cases. Let your colleagues know about regular events — such as the time when you go offline for a couple of hours or leave the office to attend classes.
Set Up a Workspace
If you work remotely, create a cozy home office. A separate room with a door is ideal for setting boundaries. Even your favorite cat won’t be able to disturb you! If you lack a spare room, arrange an office in the corner — preferably, close to the window because natural light is good for your health and boosts your productivity.
Freelancers who leave alone and lack free space often work in their kitchens. In this case, make sure to keep all the surfaces clean and avoid strong odors. It’s hard to give it one hundred and ten percent if there is a mess around you.
Stick by a Schedule
This advice is especially relevant for remote workers who:
- Do several gig jobs
- Have kids
- Work as a part of a team whose members live in different time zones
Detect the times when your performance tends to reach its peak and plan your workload accordingly. For instance, if you feel sleepy after lunch, use this time to rest or do something simple about the house.
Avoid planning every second of your day. It’s impossible to foresee all the circumstances. Besides, a scheduling obsession leads to excessive stress.
To kick-start a productive day of working from home, establish a special routine. Don’t go to your laptop immediately after you wake up. Instead, imagine that you need to go to an office. Take a shower, have breakfast, get dressed… These preparations will help you “fine-tune” your brain.
Log Off Properly
It’s probably the most underestimated recommendation for securing your home-life happiness. Let’s imagine that you change your status in a messenger or task planner to “Away” or “Unavailable”. Then, stick to it! Avoid joining a discussion or answering private messages while this status remains active. Otherwise, your colleagues and bosses will realize that they can reach out to you at any moment.
After you finish your working day, close your laptop and don’t take it with you if you go out. Disable work-related notifications on your smartphone at least for the weekend — and preferably, every evening as well.
Take a Break
Two types of breaks are indispensable: long and short ones.
Go away on a vacation several times per year. Disconnect completely from your work. Spend time with friends and family, have fun and recharge your batteries.
As for the short breaks, never forget about a proper lunch. Eat meals that you genuinely like, that are wholesome and that boost your energy levels.
Go for a stroll whenever possible. If there is a garden or park nearby, take a walk there in the middle of your working day. Otherwise, walk around your office or house and watch out of the window. When you stare at the grass or trees, your brain and eyes relax.
Consider doing simple physical exercises. Leave a proper workout for the evening to prevent getting tired prematurely. Instead, simply move your limbs, neck and torso standing in the middle of the room — your muscles will appreciate that!
Detect your individual optimal regime of taking breaks:
- A 15-20 minutes break after every hour of work
- A 5-minute break after half an hour of work
Studies provide slightly other figures — to be precise, 17 minutes of break after 52 minutes of work. Some people stick to scientifically proven limits and set up an alarm clock. Others prefer to count time more organically and approximately. Will it be ok for you if an alarm that denotes the start of a break goes off when you’re in the middle of an important task? Decide for yourself and adjust your schedule.
To improve work-life balance, it’s necessary to realize the importance of having enough time for private life. The hours that you spend sleeping, working out and socializing serve as a fuel that lets you remain productive. The key to success is to create an efficient schedule for your working day, meticulously stick to it and inform others about it.