How To Achieve Balance When You Work Remotely
People tend to think working remotely is a perpetual Netflix session & walk in the park. And yet, as the vast majority of office workers have experienced in 2020, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, remote work can come with quite a lot of challenges — and achieving balance is one of them.
How to do it? How to juggle remote work responsibilities, your mental and physical health, friendships and relationships, AND have time for some self-care?
Let’s take a closer look at this.
Understand your priorities
The first step in achieving balance is to understand your priorities. What is most important to you? For some people, their work will be at the top of the list. Others may prioritize their mental and physical health, spending time with family or friends, or working on hobbies and side projects.
Make a plan
Once you know what your priorities are, it’s time to make a plan. How are you going to achieve balance? What steps do you need to take?
For example, if your priority is your mental health, you may want to schedule in daily meditation or exercise. If your priority is your work, you may want to set office hours and stick to them.
One of the most important things to do when trying to achieve balance is to take breaks. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, take a step back and take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, watch a movie, or read a book.
It’s also important to take breaks during the day. Get up and stretch, take a quick walk around the block, or make yourself a cup of tea. Taking regular breaks will help you stay refreshed and focused.
Another key to achieving balance is to set boundaries. When you’re working, turn off your phone and email notifications. Let your family and friends know when you’re unavailable. Set office hours and stick to them.
Remember to be flexible. Things will come up that throw off your balance, and that’s OK. The important thing is to not get too discouraged and to keep trying. Contrary to what most people believe, consistency is not about doing equally well on each day, but about staying put, sticking with your plan, and keeping at it.
Studies show that gratitude can improve the quality of life by making you more optimistic, a better professional, and, generally, a happier person. Be thankful for the good things in your life, even if you’re struggling to find balance. Gratitude will help you maintain a positive outlook and keep things in perspective. Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy way to not get swept by waves of despair, loneliness, and toxic thinking.
Make good use of planning tools
There are a lot of tools that can help you achieve balance. Google Calendar, for example, is a great way to keep track of your commitments. Asana, Trello, ClickUp, and Evernote are also helpful for staying organized and keeping on top of your to-do list. My latest favorite for personal projects is Notion, because it allows me to set up boards and take notes easily, as well as project manage myself.
Join online communities
Regardless of whether you work in a remote team or freelance at the beat of your own drum, you’re not alone. There are plenty of people out there who understand the challenges you face. Connecting with others can help you find support, advice, and motivation. LinkedIn and some Slack communities are where I frequently turn to for banter, advice, and exchanging ideas.
Make it fun
This whole remote work thing was supposed to be fun, right?
Well, then, make it fun. Set up a workspace that suits you (which can be your kitchen table next to the fridge, an office desk, or a coffee table near the pool if that flies your boat.) Connect with people who are in this with you.
Adjust your daily schedule to fit in everything you want to do. And enjoy every minute of it — you are, indeed, living the dream our parents couldn’t live because technology and business practices hadn’t evolved as much as they have today.
Make the most out of it by really seizing the moment and rejoicing the amazing opportunity you have!