6 Tips to balance work and life when working at home

Woman sewing

One positive aspect about working from home is that you can set your own hours, but on the downside it can also impact heavily on your personal home life. If you are running a business from home or just taking some work home with you, then here are a few tips to help you regain some balance.

1. Set up a home office

Have a separate space just for work so you won't get interrupted by your family or get distracted by other activities in your house. When you've finished work for the day you'll be able to pack up - both physically and psychologically - and get back to your home life.

2. Take regular breaks away from your desk

Take time to smell the roses, have a coffee or eat your vegemite sandwich away from your desk. Stand up and stretch. Take the dog (or just yourself) for a walk around the block - get some fresh air, get a bit of exercise and come back ready to tackle the next challenge.

3. Turn off your communications

At the end of your working day, switch off your work phone and turn off your emails if they "ping" on your smart phone. Attempt to leave work communications to business hours and be present when you are at home after work.

4. Organise and prioritise your time 

If you were working for someone else - you wouldn't be volunteering to work until midnight or for free. So do your family and personal life a favour and avoid crazy hours too. Set the tasks you want to do that day or week and pack as much into the hours you have set yourself.

Use the diary features of your computer or smart phone to help manage your time. If you feel that you have trouble getting organised or managing your time - get professional assistance or read a self-help book. Time is precious and you don't to waste it by procrastinating or doing things half heartedly.

5. Get someone to do the easy tasks

If you can afford it, outsource the boring mundane tasks of cleaning the house and mowing the lawn. Use the assistance of a virtual assistant to do the business tasks that you feel can be delegated. Save your time for the important or specialised tasks and family/personal time.

6. Make time for the important people in your life - you and your family!

Working from home can sometimes swallow up a lot of personal time, but make sure that you have quality time with your family and time to do things that you love (eg hobbies, sports and seeing friends).

Have long weekends or even take half a day off so that you can take the kids to school. Recharge your batteries and remember what it is to have fun in your life.

Do you work from home and have other tips to share about balancing work and home life? We'd love to hear your ideas.