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By: Dana Meir

When you work in the same physical space that you eat, sleep and watch Netflix in, finding the right balance between work and everyday life can be a challenge. All too often, the boundaries begin to blur, and we find ourselves torn between the two.

Regardless of which industry you’re part of, it’s not uncommon these days to find yourself working till later than planned or replying to emails at unseemly hours.

The question is: How can we maintain a healthy balance between our professional lives and our personal lives? How can we keep developing our careers, whether we’re at the beginning stage of starting a website for our professional profile or expanding one, while fully tending to ourselves, our families and our loved ones?

The road to a good work-life balance may be long and twisted, but the following work-life balance tips can help you attain your goals.

What is work-life balance, and why is it important?

Work-life balance refers to the way in which people prioritize their time and effort between professional and personal obligations.

It’s not necessarily about evenly distributing your time, but rather creating a lifestyle in which you’re not overworking. A good work-life balance will leave you with enough time and energy to focus on your personal life, making sure to see friends, enjoy time alone, do things you enjoy, and so on.

Finding a healthy work-life balance is highly important to your overall well-being. It can reduce stress levels and the risk of burnout or creative block. In addition, employees who are satisfied with their work-life balance are likely to be happier at work, resulting in improved performance, increased productivity and commitment. As a manager, promoting a healthy work-life balance within your team can be a good way to support employees while working remotely.

Set specific work hours

When working from home, one of the best time management tips is to set specific work hours – and make sure your teammates and manager are also aware of them. Notify your colleagues, or mark in your hours on a shared calendar app. This way, you’re less likely to receive emails and meeting proposals during your non-work hours. Decide when you want to start and end each day. Factor in your lunch break and other personal responsibilities, like taking your dog for a walk or cooking for your family. This will lead to a more realistic schedule, helping you stick to your work hours successfully.

Make post-work plans
Making plans for the end of your workday can be a good solution for this. Unless there’s a task that absolutely needs to be completed today, deciding on a plan for a specific time can help you shift from work-mode to you-mode.

Determine achievable goals

Once you have an idea of what you need to work on this week, you’ll be able to set your goals and plan out your days. Try to make your goals as realistic as possible to increase the chances of actually sticking to them.

Take proper breaks

Giving yourself the time to step away from your desk is vital for your work and life balance. Removing yourself from your duties can also be a good way to deal with stress at work. It will give you the breather you need to revitalize and look at your tasks with a fresh mind. You may also find that taking breaks will help you be more productive.
Create a designated workspace
locate an appropriate spot at home in which you can set up your office. Having a place at home that is exclusively for working will help you distinguish between work and leisure, making this an important working from home tip. It’s generally recommended to avoid working in a place you strongly associate with relaxation, such as your couch or bedroom. Although you may not have a dedicated spare room, do your best to create a workspace that feels comfortable for you.
Be good to yourself
With so many responsibilities, being good to yourself can sometimes be the last thing on your to-do list. However, remind yourself that prioritizing your own well-being is important from many aspects. If you feel happier and more satisfied, the chances are you’ll be a better employee, as well as a better friend, partner, parent, and so on.
Get dressed for work
You may not be leaving the house, but that doesn’t mean that you should be in your pajamas all day. Switching from home clothes to work clothes can also help you make that mental shift, getting you in the right state of mind to work – or relax.
Accept imperfection
Whatever agreements you come to with the people around you, make sure you’re tending to your own needs and being realistic with yourself. A perfect work-life balance may not be attainable a hundred percent of the time and the constant search for it can be exhausting, so allow yourself to embrace imperfection every now and again.

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