Working From Home: 10 Unconscious Cues to Create a Work-Life Balance

Working From Home: 10 Unconscious Cues to Create a Work-Life Balance

Keeping simple routines will help your body tell the difference between work time and home time. When you don’t have something like a commute to and from work, you need to create other cues to help your mind and body ramp up for and then wind down from work.

This post is great – it outlines very simple, but very important actions that help balance the life/work relationship for a home-based worker. I’d like to describe how I handle each routine – they really are important in my day to day routine (as well as my family’s).

1. Get dressed.

It is rare that I don’t start out the work day by showering and dressing, and while my “uniform” is generally shorts and a t-shirt, I’m clean, shaved and ready to go.

2. Create a work space.

I’ve written about my office before, but my 4×8 hard-topped table, vintage Steelcase chair and all the equipment I possibly need makes me comfortable and efficient. While I share the office with some home-space, my area is contained and dedicated to work.

3. Display family photos.

Check – all around me, on the walls, the shelf, the desktop.

4. Set office hours.

Unless something absolutely preludes me ending my day consistently, I’m done at 5pm on the dot. The morning varies – sometimes 5am, sometimes 6, but on most days I’ll do a hour or so before 8, shower and eat and then be back in the office at 9 for the “official” day.

5. Don’t do chores while you work.

Rarely. Occasionally I’ll tend to something in the oven, or switch a load of laundry. Cleaning my office could be considered a chore, but it is more of a work issue.

6. Keep hydrated.

Water is the drink of choice. I rarely have soda.

7. Take breaks.

In late morning, the dog gets a walk for 10 minutes or so, and I catch up with neighbors or family. The noon hour is lunchtime, and there is a 3-ish espresso break and dog walk to hold me over until 5.

8. Go outside.

See above – the dog keeps me outside enough during the day, and in the summer months I’ve even stopped by the pool during lunch for a refresher.

9. File.

I don’t deal with too much paperwork, but the digital files need constant attention – email especially. I save almost all and use extensive searching and tagging to find it all later.

10. Have a trigger for winding down.

A nice, 15 minute walk with the dog is my commute. Usually alone, sometimes with the girls, it is my way of detaching from work and getting back to life mode.

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