As a remote worker, interruptions in your personal life may seem normal, from a simple work email to taking calls from your team lead at a family dinner. These interruptions gradually creep into our lives and become a routine, so we lose the time to refuel, threatening our mental health.
The solution is creating a work-life balance by building a system that allows you to separate work from your personal time. This article will guide you on how to achieve a work-life balance and when to prioritize personal time over work and vice versa.
1. Set Daily Goals
By mapping daily goals, you can create a system that helps you prioritize activities and achieve tasks. This way, you’ll be less tempted to keep working during your rest. By setting SMART goals, you can craft a working technique that prevents you from experiencing burnout while achieving maximum productivity.
You can start by drawing out time-management strategies and cutting through the clutter. This process includes observing your most productive periods and fixing more work around them. You can create a timetable that helps you follow this schedule. Above all, discipline is the determining factor here.
2. Track and Schedule Your Duration for Work
Aside from setting goals that give direction for a day’s job, tracking the number of hours you work saves you from becoming a workaholic. Now that you know your most comfortable working hours, it’s time you measure how long you intend to dedicate to work. You can take short breaks to refuel and attend to other personal business as a remote worker.
Another way to do this is by working long, straight hours in the day and giving your undivided attention to work. So you can create time for friends and family or take care of your needs later in the day. If it helps, you can use the best free Pomodoro productivity apps like Pomatez and Pomofocus to keep track of time and stay focused while working.
3. Have Clear Boundaries
Having clear boundaries for yourself involves knowing when not to check that work email or task. You can negotiate more flexible deadlines to avoid work creeping into your time. In many countries, weekends are for relaxation and decluttering. But if this is a different case for you, consider taking at least a day to recharge.
Creating clear boundaries also includes knowing when to set up meetings, accepting projects, and sticking to them. However, there could be exceptions such as an emergency. The important thing about setting boundaries is realizing when they are being crossed, so you can make up for them.
4. Prioritize Tasks According to Their Importance
Compile all tasks into one file and arrange them according to their importance. You can set them based on deadlines and the amount of work required. This method will help you organize your daily routine. You can use it to stay productive at your job and to schedule free time.
You can use scheduling tools and free apps for task planning. It would help to take tasks one at a time. In cases like this, it might be tempting to multitask, especially when there’s a lot to do. But, these activities end up creeping into your personal life. By prioritizing each task, you can pay full attention to the more critical ones and save the easier ones for later.
5. Unplug From Work Outside Your Hours
Learning to unplug from work would be a huge plus to your health, and you should be bold about it. While on a break, resist the urge to check Slack or Microsoft Teams. If it helps, uninstall work apps from your smartphone and limit them to your PC. Sometimes, you need to shut down your phone and rest. This way, you can reply to work emails only during work hours.
This method sounds strict, but it effectively helps build better structure and prevent burnout. In addition, it gives you a sense of control over your time and helps build better resilience. You can replace work with non-screen hobbies to avoid the temptation of going back to work. It also helps to turn off work notifications and leave your workspace.
6. Avoid the Trap of Perfectionism
Avoiding the trap of perfectionism is far from being mediocre while working from home. However, try to avoid staying stuck on fixing the slightest imperfections. You may need to go through that project more than once, but not necessarily at that moment. How about doing it when you’re refreshed?
For a few others, the trap of perfectionism makes them feel that they can do it better. However, it helps to have a second eye and extra hands to finish the project for you. If you fall into this trap sometimes, try to lower the pressure you put on yourself and reach out to others for help.
7. Learn to Outsource Work
Learning to outsource work is like a sequel to avoiding the trap of perfectionism. While delegating work to others, remember they could do that job differently from yours. This step would also require you to have some measure of trust in your co-workers.
Try to avoid overanalyzing the project when they submit it to you. You should prioritize getting the work done at an impressive level rather than obsessing over perfection. Outsourcing work gives you flexibility and gets more work done in a shorter time frame. Therefore, you’ll feel less compelled to work outside of work hours.
8. Engage in Leisure Activities Outside of Work
Most people look for jobs to give them a sense of satisfaction. Thus, they are caught in the trap of living to work instead of the other way around. Your work is supposed to provide a means to earn a living and have a good life. However, if you’re engrossed in so much work, there may never be a time for this.
You should find ways to declutter and find satisfaction outside work. Give yourself a breather and renew your strength for later. Try playing stress-free games with friends, seeing a movie, or mind-body exercising. Finding satisfaction outside of work helps lessen your tendency to become a workaholic.
9. Minimize Time Leaks
By examining who you should spend time with and what activities you should engage in, you will be able to identify time-wasters. Activities that eat up your free time or, even worse, cause an imbalance in your work schedule.
You may never achieve a work-life balance if you spend all your time trying to be available for everyone and every activity. Carefully channel your energy into areas that will yield positive results. Time management and discipline are essential qualities you need to limit time leeches.
Living Your Best Life as a Remote Worker
Remote working allows you more flexibility and keeps you in charge of your life. However, having more time on your hands without a structure can cause you to mix work and personal life. If you want to live your best life as a remote worker, you can start by learning how to adjust to working from home. This step would help you to enjoy the perks of remote working fully.