Working from home sounds like a dream. Right? Working on your own terms offers flexibility employment doesn’t offer. It almost sounds too good to be true! However, it also comes with some drawbacks. If you are proactive, you can work around these and continue to be rewarded by your Girl Boss lifestyle!
Despite the personal flexibility of self-employment, and working from the comfort of your own home, loneliness can start creeping in and lack of physical activity becomes a chronic problem.
It’s understandable. Unless you’re a WAHM, we spend a large portion of the day alone. A lot of times we don’t even leave the house for days at a time (it’s really an introvert’s dream)!
Not all, but many of us have a sedentary lifestyle as well, working in front of our laptops for long hours. Eventually, loneliness and weight gain can start to creep in if you’re not intentionally planning time to meet these needs.
Unfortunately, neglecting to take care of your health, both physically and mentally, can lead to problems that can affect all areas of your life. In fact, studies have shown that isolation, from lack of social interaction, can increase mortality rates!
I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to be here as long as I can!
This leads me to the main point of this post, how to prioritize your physical and mental well being when you work from home.
THE FINE ART OF PRIORITIZING YOU WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
I would love to do it all, but unfortunately, there isn’t enough time in a day. So what do I, and probably many of you, do? I prioritize what I perceive as the most important tasks in my day (eg. client work, writing, errands) and put off everything else (eg. going for a walk, reading a novel, seeing friends).
And when I say “put off” I mean it doesn’t happen. Sound familiar?
Don’t beat yourself up too much, you’re only human.
Logically, it makes sense to focus on responsibilities first because, in most cases, we’re usually accountable to another person. This can be our boss, our husband, children or even society as a whole.
These obligations are less flexible and we perceive them as being a top priority. There would be immediate consequences if they didn’t get done.
If we neglect our job we can’t pay the bills. If we don’t cook dinner our family goes hungry. These are responsibilities we can’t avoid without being a horrible person.
However, it CAN come at the expense of our own well-being if we aren’t intentionally living a balanced lifestyle, and that is where the problem lies.
Whether you work in an on-site office or run your own business from home, most of us are probably guilty of putting our well-being second and prioritizing everything else first.
So how can you make changes to ensure you are just as important as everything else? Here are my tips to help you get there.
IMPROVE YOUR WELL-BEING WITH BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of people working from home find loneliness and physical health to be an issue. Having the benefit of being able to work without leaving the house can become both isolating and sedentary.
While I don’t feel like loneliness is an issue for me (proud introvert!), the lack of physical activity has definitely taken its toll. Like many of you, I wasn’t prioritizing exercise and outings into my day, and instead, worked the days away.
The Time Blocking Hack That Will Add More Time To Your Day
One solution I’ve been learning and want to share with you is time blocking.
If you’ve never heard of time blocking before, it’s essentially scheduling every minute of your day by assigning everything to a time block (hence the name time blocking).
This time management practice ensures you’re using your time efficiently by revealing empty blocks throughout your day. If you feel like there isn’t enough time in a day, time block and review how you’re spending your time. Is it spent in a way that is serving you or are there things you can change? If there are empty spots could these be used to fit in some personal well-being time into your day?
One of my favorite YouTubers, Amy Landino, explains it best in her video “Get More Done with Calendar Blocking” (I’ve also embedded below!).
How is time blocking going to help you ease the loneliness and lack of physical activity from being a work at home entrepreneur? By adding it to your calendar, obviously!
HOW TO BLOCK OUT TIME FOR SOCIALIZING AND MOVEMENT
With the time management skill of time blocking you’ll notice you can fit anything (most of the time) into your day. This is because you become acutely aware of your free time blocks and can choose to use those periods in a day however you want.
In relation to the disadvantages of working from home, loneliness, and lack of exercise, you can definitely plan to remedy that by blocking it in.
Once you have time blocked your day with your non-negotiable responsibilities, look for any blocks in your day you’re not using for anything. This is your opportunity to schedule in time for YOU. Use these to organize a lunch with a friend, a date with your husband, or participate in a book club to combat loneliness. To make sure you’re moving throughout the day, schedule a half-hour walk or 45 minutes at your local gym.
You will be doing a world of wonders for your physical health as well as your mental health!
Time blocking these activities will help balance your life out. You will start to feel less stressed and find more happiness in your life when you prioritize your needs and treat your well-being as a non-negotiable.
YOUR WELL-BEING SHOULD BE A PRIORITY
Working from home shouldn’t negatively impact your mental and physical well-being. Once you get the hang of time blocking you’ll notice you actually have more time to do what is important to YOU.
Your happiness and health should come before anything else. While that’s easier said than done, it’s seriously something that shouldn’t be ignored.
For some people, this means taking a yoga class a couple of times a week or eating a healthier diet. A lot of people also enjoy participating in book clubs. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you are planning time in your day to do something you love.
It’s very hard to present your best self every day if your burnt out and unhappy, which is why I wholeheartedly advocate putting your own needs first.
I’ve been working from home since February 2018 and I have to say love it! If you’re curious, in my last blog post, I actually detailed my daily routine working from home!
Do you use time blocking to help balance your life? Share your tips in the comments below. Looking forward to reading all of your responses!