Digital marketing is an excellent career for anyone with children because you can choose your hours and complete all of the required work from home.
But when you work from home all the time, it’s easy for the lines between work and home to blur. Perhaps the laundry folding pile catches your eye, and you quickly stop work to sort it out. Or the family’s dinner is delayed because you are trying to finish a work task.
Making the most of working from home and getting your work-life balance right takes a little work. Here are some tips on balancing work and family life.
Have set hours
It’s good to have set working hours and set home hours. They don’t have to be the standard 9 to 5. After all, working for yourself is all about setting a schedule that suits you. So you might choose to work only during school hours, perhaps from 10am to 2pm. Or you might work for a few hours during the day when your baby is napping and then work again in the evening. Or maybe, if you are an early bird, you can get up before everyone else in the house and work then.
Be precious about your non-working hours. Turn off notifications on your phone. Resist the urge to check your emails. Focus on being with your family, your hobby or whatever you want to do with your downtime.
It will also help to plan your week, so you fit in any necessary family commitments like health appointments or school commitments and are ready to work around those. If your child has an after-school class to get to, for example, don’t schedule a meeting that might run over right before it. Making time for your family’s activities ensures they know they are important and don’t resent your work.
Fake a commute and work routine
One of the great things about working from home is that you’ll never get stuck in traffic or waiting for that late bus or train on the commute. But sometimes, just rolling out of bed and down the corridor to your home office doesn’t make you feel like you are at work. To separate work and home, a good tip is to create a commute. It could just be putting on work clothes and then walking around the block. This is also a great way of getting in some physical exercise each day before you get too caught up in work to think about it.
Have a workspace
You might think it would be great to work from your sofa or even bed when you work from home. But doing that can blur the lines between your work life and your home life. This can have a negative impact on your productivity and make it harder to associate these rooms with relaxation. Instead, have a dedicated workspace – preferably when where you can shut a door. Having a dedicated workspace enables you to get into the right headspace for working. It also means you can set up your space ergonomically for working, to look professional for online meetings, and you won’t have to clear work up every night.
Set boundaries with your family
If you need to work while your family are at home, then talk to them in advance so that they understand that when you are working, you are off limits to them. You may need to set up your children with an activity they can do independently or make sure your partner knows that they are in charge and that your kids know to go to them first.
If your partner works from home too, then arrange your schedules so you can have time together – say meeting for lunch – and both know when you are working. You might like to combine your together time with something that gives you both a physical break too, like going for a walk.
It is times like this when having that separate workspace with a door can really help. Having the door shut is an obvious sign that you are working and off-limits.
Don't be afraid to get help
There are only so many hours in the day. So, if you are working long hours to build up your business and then want to find time for your family, other things may have to slip down the priority list. Make a list of things you are prepared to let slide – maybe that laundry doesn’t need folding right away! You could also consider enlisting help with household chores so not all your free time is taken up with cleaning. Order groceries online and get them delivered, enlist the whole family in cleaning or think about paying for a cleaner.
Interested in a career working from home?
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