How do you balance work and life in a remote setting?
In a remote work setting, it often feels like we operate inside a digital landscape in which all of our occupational duties reside. For some, this provides an easily accessible and customizable work setup that suits them well. For others, this can lead to an inescapable digital space where they spend too much of their time.
Here are some of the main ways to create more balance between your job and the rest of your life:
- Dedicate certain devices for certain uses
- Separate spaces for work and down time
- Use email blockers like Boomerang
- Take some short breaks to stretch and meditate
- Remove distractions to create a minimalistic work space
- Fully mentally and physically check out at the end of the day
Using the same devices for work and pleasure can lead to many distractions, both on and off the clock. Seeing personal emails and notifications come in while you are trying to stay focused at work slows productivity. The opposite is also true when we see work emails coming in while trying to enjoy quality time with family and friends off the clock. Developing some kind of boundaries that work specifically for you in regard to dedicating certain devices and work spaces to certain functions can significantly help reduce these distractions.
Make the time, because no one owns time!
Allowing yourself some time and space to get out of your usual routine is key to maintaining strong mental and physical health. If you work at a desk behind a computer slumping over a keyboard most days of the week, you will start to notice the sedentary effects on your life in multiple ways. Ensure that you take some small breaks throughout the day to get up, walk around, stretch, get some fresh air, and bask in some sunlight.
Being stuck inside for so long is unnatural to our human physiology and requires some effort to counteract. Constantly being at home can also have negative psychological effects that hinder productivity and mental clarity. Taking small amounts of time to meditate, do some breathing exercises, or practice mindfulness in whatever ways work best for you is essential. Apps like Headspace are a great tool to help stay productive during work, while also giving yourself breaks to check in mentally.
Most remote workers would agree that having multiple screens is helpful for creating a productive workflow because we can somewhat multitask. However, multitasking is a common misconception, and this amount of screen space to work can be dangerous to your productivity level if you do not utilize it appropriately. Having a minimalistic, distraction-free workspace has been shown to make people more efficient at their jobs.
When it comes to working extra hours and eating away into time that could be allocated towards personal endeavors and loved ones, this is something workaholics struggle with. Telling yourself that sending one quick email or checking the statistics real fast won’t hurt anyone is fine until you start to do this more and more and your loved ones eventually feel like you are neglecting them.
Knowing when to close the laptop, and enjoy the rest of your day is something that can be hard for people who are extremely motivated and dedicated to their work. Being able to respect your job, as well as yourself and those that rely on you is an important skill.
This can be especially hard for individuals who are single, entrepreneurs, those who work odd hours, and people that work off of commission. Tell yourself that money is not everything, rest is important, and there will always be tomorrow. These are useful reminders in breaking the toxic habit of overworking yourself and developing a good work-life balance.