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