Work-Life Balance Tips for Busy Professionals
Categories: Career Advice
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With millions of people working from home nowadays, it’s no secret that maintaining a healthy work-life balance has come into the spotlight more than ever.
When work and home merge, it can be difficult to separate one from the other. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can also be difficult. Given that you no longer physically leave to and from your workplace, you are unable to gain a mental break when you are at home. If this sounds familiar, we’ve got a couple of tips that can help make this work from home transition all the more balanced.
Separating Space and Time
Separate the Spaces
It’s important to divide your home between the areas you work and those where you play. It’s advised to keep one location as your office and treat that part of your home as solely where work is done. Try not to let work spill to other parts of your house or else you will associate it with your entire home. Close the door to your home office (and the computer) when you’re done for the day. Also, try to keep your office nice and tidy (think plants/interior decoration!) so as to minimize overwhelm and feel more in control of your surroundings.
Make a Schedule and Keep a Routine (Separate Time)
Keeping a work-life balance whilst working from home isn’t just about separating the spaces but also clearing your mind when enjoying free time is essential. The best way to do this is to literally break up your day into blocks of work and private times. Have your “day at the office” but make sure to have your private time scheduled to make sure you stick to it afterward. Remember, your company can replace you, but you can’t replace your own personal time lost. Interestingly enough, a study published by the Guardian indicates that the second biggest regret people have on their death beds as having worked too much.
Stay Active and Exercise
As the old Latin saying goes: Mens sana in corpore sano, which translates loosely to ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. It’s no secret that exercise and staying active can help keep you healthy and energized, resulting in greater efficiency at your job. Being more efficient at your job means you can finish tasks quicker and stop working sooner. If you’re one of those types that keep taking on tasks, a small walk or a trip to the gym can provide some much-needed enjoyment and perspective.
Make Friends and Make Plans
One of the main challenges of moving abroad is having to rebuild your network of friends. Once you’ve got that dream job in The Netherlands, it can be easy to focus on only that. This causes many expats and internationals to just keep working and neglect to have an active social life. Remember, we’re talking about work-life balance after all. To combat this, a good idea would be to join meetups, fun webinars, or a dating or friendship-making app like bumble. You could also just reach out to the myriad of Facebook groups and just ask if anyone wants to hangout.
Enjoy & Schedule Time for Hobbies and Doing Nothing
A simple plan could be to develop or enjoy a hobby. Hobbies could be learning a new instrument, reading, improving your Dutch, or doing nothing, i.e. practicing the Dutch philosophy of Niksen. Remember, in order to work better, we all need breaks and a change of scenery.
Take a Digital Detox & Separate Work and Personal Devices
A recent Swedish study indicated that excessive use of digital devices can lead to an increase in mental illness and depression. Taking a digital detox will also help you keep your mind off work, seeing as when you’re away from your home office getting WhatsApp messages or e-mails from your boss it can be hard to disconnect from work. Try going out to the park and leaving your mobile device(s) at home for a few hours, your mood and brain will thank you.
Keep Devices and Computers Separate
A great idea to maintain a healthy work-life balance is to keep a separate computer and mobile phone for personal and work use. This allows you to enjoy fun times peacefully on your laptop or tablet without being tempted to check your work emails/notifications on off-hours. If budget prevents this, simply keeping your device on silent goes a long way. You don’t always need to address your notifications immediately. Another helpful tip is to keep separate e-mail clients: one for personal and one for business. This way you avoid mixing work whilst you’re out having fun.
Delegate Mundane Tasks
We think you’ll agree, when working at home all day, having to also do the laundry, clean the house, and wash dishes is no fun at all. Furthermore, being distracted throughout your workday to do chores only to be forced to work later hours from home is even worse. A big part of having a good work-life balance is maximizing the time that is enjoyable for you. Consider delegating your boring household chores. Platforms such as Helpling are great for that. They’re a marketplace where you can find some good old fashioned household help. Start using them today in order to have more time for yourself!
Do you have any techniques that help maintain your own-work life balance? Let us know in the comments below!