There are many big questions that are difficult to answer; what is the meaning of life? Does God exist? Did the chicken or the egg come first? But the biggest and probably the most relevant in today’s society has to be:
How to juggle home and work effectively
It is a subject that most working people will contemplate at various points in their careers but one which is rarely answered thoroughly. In fact it is so relevant that interviewers often ask candidates how they achieve an effective balance when deciding who to give a job to. I have therefore put together 5 tips that should help you achieve the holy grail of work/home balance.
1. Keep your phones separate – if you need to take work calls then ensure you have a separate mobile phone. This way when you aren’t working you can turn the phone off and can’t be tempted to answer a call or quickly just check your emails.
2. Set realistic working times – most people don’t work the usual 9-5, they often put in more hours to ensure a job is completed well. There is nothing really wrong with this as long as the 9-5 doesn’t turn into the 6am-11pm. That’s not to say stick rigidly to schedules; be flexible as things change but on the whole make yourself stick roughly to realistic working times and if something isn’t finished, do it tomorrow.
3. Don’t take your work home – if you work away from your home and you stick to number 2 then don’t take your work home with you. You will be better off spending an extra hour in the office and getting more done than taking it home as you will be tempted to spend all night working on it. Just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean it doesn’t count as work time.
4. Shut down your home office – working from home is a minefield for work/life balance because it is difficult to draw the line. Number 2 is even more vitally important in home working. Outside of your designated working hours shut your office down, turn off the lights, close the door and pretend it isn’t there until it’s time to work again.
5. Delegate – if you are the only person who can complete every task you need to do then you are never going to have a life. There is nothing wrong with delegating tasks that can be completed by others. Virtual assistants are cheaper as you don’t have to hire them on a contract or give them an office and stationery. You also only pay for the work they do not their breaks, holidays and sickness.
If you manage to stick to all 5 of these tips then you will be well on your way to a healthy work/home balance. Of course these are not the only tips that you could follow, there are many ways to achieve a healthy balance as it is possible! Unfortunately for now it is past my set working times and so I must shut down my home office and spend some time doing non-work things.
Good luck with your balance!