feature img

Top 9 remote work-life balance tips

Obbaatt AngadiaDec 12, 2022

With life requiring a series of balances to be struck between various worlds, work and personal life have often been two different yet similar worlds that need separation. Many have fallen victim to not knowing where the line that separates the personal from the work-life begins and ends.

While working at home, you need to spare yourself from work and similarly from your personal life when alarms go off. Why does any human being need to separate anything? Well, for starters, separating your personal life and your professional life helps you reduce fatigue and optimize your time, especially when working as a freelancer.

Here are tips to help you strike a balance between your work and personal life, especially when working from home in a remote setting:

Develop a routine

Rolling out of bed and scrambling to get things done is a sure way to have an unproductive day. Nobody likes doing the same thing over again, however, at certain points in our life, routines encourage efficiency and sharpen our skills and expertise.

Faceless lady with notebook and laptop on floor at homeCreate a routine, starting from when you wake up, all the way to when your day ends. If you are working from home, a routine will help you avoid distractions and keep you focused on the tasks you are supposed to do.

Keep everything consistent 

Working virtually or as a freelancer should be treated like any other office job where you have to meet the required number of hours per shift. Treating work from home as a luxury or comfort will draw you into unproductivity and you will struggle to meet deadlines.

A friend of mine lost a job that many would have fought tooth and nail to keep. He was happy enough when he landed the job, which came with" work from home" sort of conditions. After a few weeks, it became evident that Netflix, excess breaks and procrastinating are all he was built for. Consistency when performing virtual work or freelance work is key if you are to strike a balance between work and your "me time".

Time yourself

Having worked from home since the Covid days, I find this bit very interesting. I have a system, a clock that goes off after every 30 minutes into my shift. When this happens, I drop everything and take a five minutes break.

A clock pocket watchThe clock goes off again after 5 minutes and I will be back at my desk pushing to meet deadlines. After another 30 minutes, the clock goes off only this time, I will take a 15 minutes break. This system has enabled me to work very fast and with less fatigue since I know a break is just around.

Who wouldn’t love that? Choose a system that works best for you, and avoid too many breaks, especially long destructive breaks.

Avoid distractions

Taking a break from work is dangerous since you might never come back. Break time isn’t the time to start a new "House of dragon" episode. Avoid social apps that are designed to feed your attention. Yes, I am talking about Tiktok.

A young girl sitting on the couch while disturbing her father working on laptopYou can use your breaks to answer messages that require an immediate response or call back those people you ought to have answered their calls. Make it a habit to ignore anything, no matter how sweet or comforting, that does not direct you toward meeting certain deadlines.

Go on a walk.

Work does cluster our brains and under normal circumstances, any rational human being will avoid work as much as they can. How then do you deal with all the chaos that is the professional world?

Well, walk, just walk. Walking has a way of getting your body to relax, heal and exercise at the same time. Many health practitioners advice freelancers and most people who work from home to have a walk to calm their brains.

Dress as you would when going out. Virtual work has got many people forgetting the professional dress code. After all, how often do you look at a man’s shoes in a virtual meeting? It is difficult to get dressed properly for a remote job, difficult even more it is to get off your pajamas and other leggings for a freelance job.

Make it a point to at least go past your pajamas. The brain scans the environment, and if pajamas are all you have, then" let’s sleep”, the brain would have said had it a mouth of its own.

Create a special place just for work

I spend so many days in my leaving room, on those comfy seats, I do "Netflix and chill", only to realize that I wasn’t moving any work, and practically, I had become a sloth.

A woman in a black long sleeve shirt sitting on a chair workingThis eureka moment prompted me to part ways with a few bucks to get a work desk. I identified a space, within my apartment and stationed the desk I even named the desk but I must admit, it is not one of my proudest moments.

The point is, creating a space, just for work triggers the brain into "work mode" when you head toward your workspace. When you walk into your bedroom, your brain triggers the sense that you need rest, and so when you walk into a kitchen, your brain reminds you of the snacks you bought on Amazon on black Friday.

Close the work apps when done

When all is said and done, coming back into your personal space needs the same amount of energy as when you switch to your professional life.

A  woman holding a beer can drinking beverage alcohol in a virtual partyLog out from all work up and only let them run if you are expecting rather important communication. Most of those times I found myself working and eating into my personal time, I swear my PC was on, and I thought to myself, what if I do just a little bit more of this article?

Only attend those important meetings

Virtual work calls for meetings and at times, some of those meetings might be irrelevant. A friend of mine narrates that in a team of five, they often hold meetings, most of which are of informal nature. Be stingy with your time since once it is gone, it cannot be recovered.

Attend meetings that are helpful, and when working from home, only seek to maximize the little time you have for better results in the whole remote working process.

Have other plans

After your virtual work or after a long day of freelance work, have other plans of personal nature. Go out and enjoy a meal cooked by a professional, watch the sunset if you have an opportunity, and learn how to call birds; you never know when bird-calling skills might be called into use.

Having extra plans after your work gives you something to look forward to, and even if your day sucks, most of which do, you know that at the end of the day, you will be in the theater yelling "Wakanda Forever." Productivity starts before work starts, and if you find a balance between various aspects of your life, then your work, be it virtual work, or freelance work from home remote work, you become highly efficient.