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  • Writer's pictureMark Dickinson

A balancing act

As many people work out of home, the lines

between work and family time are blurring.

Can people still maintain work-life balance?

I had just sat down with my cup of coffee when

the doorbell rang, which made my dog start

barking uncontrollably, followed by a call on

my phone, a WhatsApp message and a Skype

call alert chiming on my computer. That day I

was supposed to have delivered my project and it

seemed like the whole world was going mad.

Working from home (WFH as it is now officially

called) is likely to elevate the demands on our time,

as we are exposed to a variety of situations that are

contrary to our normal working environment, so we

have to learn how to manage ourselves.

Work is supposed to be enjoyable, and you will

perform really well in an environment where you

feel productive and valuable. In order to create a

great work-life balance it is essential that you figure

out how your work fits into your life. Too many

people give their work more importance than it

should have, automatically upsetting the balance.

By creating house rules when you are working from

home, you increase the probability of keeping work

in its perspective.


1. Create your own list of rules for how you are

going to work before you start sharing them

with your family or co-habitants.

2. Set up fixed working hours with start and end

times, pretty much like you would when you

go to work. Remember you have a lunch break

to schedule – you can make that a fun family

time within your frame of work. Normally

at work you spend time for coffee breaks –

factor those in too. Create a clear separation

between work and family so that everyone

knows what to expect from you.

3. Stick to the times that you have set.

4. Figure out your workspace. You have to have

a separate area dedicated to work. This allows

those at home to know when you are not to be


5. Give yourself the latitude to go with the flow.

Time comes to us only once, use it wisely.

Many who end up losing the work-life balance war

are personally responsible for where they find themselves.

By merely agreeing to work on something

outside of your working hours, you have created a

new norm. Your manager can now begin to expect

that in a similar situation, you will respond in the

same way. It is essential that you are clear that

your work runs for the period of time that you are


Work is wonderful, and sometimes a place to

which you can even escape, but that is not what it

is all about.

Your work expects that you give 100 per cent of

your time and energy and passion, during the time

that it has paid you to do so. It may call upon you

on occasions to give outside of your working time,

which is fine, providing you manage those situations


Taking a powerful and positive approach to managing

your work-life balance will pay off at home

and any other place you decide to conduct your

work. Start integrating these ideas into your life, or

at least whatever you think applies to you,

Creating inspirational banners around you, on

your desk, on your screen saver, or on your calendar

about what you want to achieve in life will cause

you to think about your life more.

As we think, so we become, so create signposts

for your mind to follow so that you spend more time

thinking about the things that you want rather than

just thinking about what others want.

If you are experiencing stress through angry outbursts,

irritability, binge eating/drinking, aggressive

behavior, or you are imagining or making up

negative or harmful unreal scenarios then you are

experiencing an imbalance. It’s okay to feel this way,

but what is not okay is not to do anything about it.

You get what you focus on, so focus on what you


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