Putting your work down can be tricky whether you work from home or in an office. Especially when your co-worker keeps texting after hours, a client keeps asking about deliverables that aren't due for another week and you just want to finish it all up so you can relax.
But you can't. Because it never stops.
Creating the perfect balance between your work life and your LIFE life can be near impossible. Here are 5 hacks for putting your laptop away and spending time with people you love, doing the things you love.
Stick to your schedule
Work in an office? Stick to your 9-5 or whatever your hours are. Now, there will always be exceptions, but staying late simply because your boss is still there, or because you're waiting on an email reply that can wait - is not necessary. Clock out.
If you work for yourself - set hours and stick to them.
Create a to-do list EVERY DAY
At the end of each day, create a list for tomorrow. I LOVE having my weekly planner on hand at all times - I would be completely lost without it. Once you've finished everything on that list and maybe the one or two things that come up (something ALWAYS comes up, doesn't it?), then you feel like you've completed the day's goals
and you can relax.
Turn off email notifications when you aren't working
This one is HUGE for me. I used to keep my notifications on 24/7, meaning if someone emailed me at 1 pm on a Saturday, I would feel compelled to respond. When you clock out or shut your laptop, turn off those notifications. Emails are rarely urgent. If something is important enough, they will call.
Schedule a family activity each weekday evening
This may seem way too simple, but trust me. Tell
your kids you'll take them to Applebee's at 5. You'll be damned if you don't stop working and take them to Applebees. Plan a family walk, a trip to the store, ANYTHING that removes you from your work.
I know, I know. You've heard this one a million and one times. But if you don't take breaks to walk around, have a snack, or drink some water, you won't be able to focus for long. When you can't focus, you aren't productive and either give up on the task at hand, or that task takes twice as long. Trust me on this one.
Nobody has a magic formula to perfectly maintain a healthy career and private life simultaneously. Humans aren't meant to balance as much as we do nowadays.
I challenge you to implement ONE of these hacks for a week and see where it gets you. You won't get fired or lose a client. I promise.