Spending most of my time at home was never too much of a problem for me. In fact I enjoyed spending time alone at home and I still am the same introvert who prefers cozy and quiet atmospheres while enjoying my favorite activities.
When I started working from home I wasn’t affected as people thought I would be. Even if I sometimes miss interactions and working with people, I still believe that work from home is exactly my style. I like working from home because I can still make my own rules. I can wear whatever clothes I want or I can work in my pyjamas if I feel like it. I can sleep a little bit more and still keep a routine. I can work and still look out the window to check the beautiful sky or to see if the mountain is in holyday (this is how my sister and I joke about it when there is too much fog and we can’t see the mountain from our bedroom’s window). During breaks I can eat whatever I find in the fridge or the food my sister cooks for me. I love everything about these small habits that make work more bearable.
I have to admit though that it wasn’t like this from the beginning. It took me a while until I discovered what works for me and how I can enjoy working from home. Also, I still have moments when I get extremely bored, not because I don’t have anything to do, but because I work alone in a room for about 8 hours. Another problem I have to face sometimes when working from home is work-related stress and the fact that it is more difficult to disconnect because I live with my work in the same house. This is why it is so important to find little strategies to help us cope with working from home and even like it. So here are my tips to keep the work-life balance when working from home and why not, enjoy it:
1. Keep a routine. Since I have started working from home I have struggled a lot with finding balance between work and personal life. Now I have an experience of two years in work from home and I can say that starting a routine is a life saver. By routine I mean mainly waking up at the same hour, which means that going to bed at almost the same hour is an imperative. I wake up at 7am and I usually start working at 7:40. Until then I wash myself, I change my clothes, I apply face cream etc. And this is what I do every morning. I made a habit of not snoozing my alarm and I get up as soon as I wake up. Also, I try to maintain the same routine in the weekends as well in order to make of this routine a lifestyle that can make my life easier while working from home. However, I have one exception for the weekends: I allow myself to sleep in.
2. Take regular breaks. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking breaks. It’s good for our eyes, for our brain, for our spine and for our overall mood. When I am in my break time, I try not to use my phone too much in order to relax my eyes. Instead of using my phone I like to talk with my sister and to have a good laugh if possible.
3. Don’t skip breakfast and lunch. This aspect is extremely important to me. I can’t even imagine working without eating my breakfast and lunch. This is how I make sure I am productive while taking care of my health. Also I tend to become grumpy when I’m hungry and I am sure I don’t want to make a scene at work because I skipped a meal :))
4. Tidy work space. I like to keep my desk clutter free and I try to tidy it every day, after I finish work. I also try to organize my desk as simply as possible in order to avoid distractions.
5. Disconnect completely. This is my favorite. When I turn off my computer I try to disconnect completely from work until the next day. Thus when my program ends, I try not to think about work and not to talk about it even if it’s just complaining about how hard my day was in order to focus on myself and my personal activities. I try to avoid as much as possible thoughts like: tomorrow I have to work again and to focus on me and on what I am doing at that specific moment.
These are the most important rules I have in order to keep myself organized, productive and maintain a good work life balance. They come so naturally for me that I don’t even struggle. They are that helpful to me. I know it can be difficult to work from home especially when you don’t have a choice but it’s in most of the cases imposed. Just think that you can work, keep yourself healthy and you can even wear those lovely pyjamas you feel so comfy in while working. Stay positive. Stay healthy and I’ll see you around.