5 Tips on How to have a Holistic Approach to Balancing Working at Home and Life in General
So, I am a virtual assistant, but I am more than that, I am also a mother, wife, daughter and friend and therefore I have to manage wearing those many different hats on a daily basis.
When balancing life and work in a normal setting, generally work and home are separate because when you leave the office it stays behind and you get in your car, in the train or bus and you go home, to your home which is away from the office. However for a VA our home is our office, our office is our home!
Now how to balance that conundrum you ask? Well below are 5 points, ideas, tips which I try to use daily in order to create this balance, in a holistic, focused manner:
As a person who works from home and who also has two young children in the house routine is my buzzword. If we did not have routine I think my house might literally fall down!
Now what sort of routine are we talking here? Well it’s not military grade, but not too far from. I ensure I start the day same time every day (no thanks to my human alarm clock of course), I grab a cup of coffee – first of many! I then head on to the office (lounge) and switch on the gadgets and start to plan my day. In between the kids need to be fed and sorted with their various needs as well, which generally are also on some sort of clock. I try to keep the routine everyday as this allows me to work efficiently and effectively for my clients but also ensure the other part of my life is seen to and working just as effectively.
Don’t forget about you
This point is one that I took a while to get used to, but it is important. Remember you! Just as the kids need to eat and get dressed and have some fun so do you.
So what this means for me is, I make sure I get dressed (comfy but dressed) every day and maybe put on a little bit of a face or at the very least some moisturiser, mascara and lip-gloss. It is important to remember that although we work from home we can also behave the same as if we were going out to work. In fact studies have shown that prepping yourself as if you are going out to work actually helps to keep you more focused through the day. When you look good you feel good and good things happen!
My fun comes from playing with my kids, helping my son build LEGO or cheer the 7 month old on as he starts to become mobile.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Some more reiteration on routine here, but truth is to have that balance you need to plan your work day. You need to know what needs to be done, what is priority, what can go in the “tomorrow pile” and what needs to be addressed ASAP! If you do not have these plans in place you are going to be like a headless chicken trying to juggle way too much and end up not getting anything, or very little, done during your working hours.
My plan of action each day? I ensure I have my task list set up for each client, I know what is needed for each day. I break it up into the hours which I have allocated for each client and I mark off as we go along. Some of this is done electronically on apps like Trello or else manually in my diary/notebook. Make no mistake sometimes an urgent task pops up and that then needs to take preference, but at least I have a system in place for the general day to day operations.
Know when to step away
Another one of those very hard to do things, but it needs to be done. You need to set a time when the day is done because again, when you work outside of the home when your colleagues start packing up and leaving you know it’s time to go, but when you work at home?? Well you kind of need to set an alarm to tell yourself, “Switch off that computer, the day is done.” No one is able to work 24/7 even if you are in the comfort of your own home.
The final bit to make it holistic
So, now that we have gone through all of that I have come to the final, most important part, taking time out for you! Now this can be anything really from reading a book, taking a walk, going to the gym or whatever else. For me, it is that time at the end of the evening when my babies are in bed and I can just stretch out on the couch and veg out watching some Netflix. I also ensure I, at least once a week, have a spa bath at home, you can do this by introducing Epsom salts and essential oils, you can read about it and the benefits here .
At the end of the day to balance life, home and work – when you work at home, is work in itself but it can be done and it must be done in order for no one or nothing to be neglected.
Happy working from home!!