Work can often be all-consuming, with us thinking about the office even when we are at home. Sometimes, it is necessary to distance oneself from work and take a break. Easier said than done in today’s world where technology has become so integrated into society and technology that employers demand you use. The majority of the workforce has two cell phones, one for personal use, and one for work, with colleagues and superiors who may call at any given time, possibly even out of work hours.
Disconnecting while on vacation may seem difficult, if not radical. However, these are just as true for people who work remotely. It is hard enough to disconnect from an office that is different by leaps and bounds from someone’s home, but how would one be able to fully relax while their home doubles as their office? This is why it is so important to put strategies in place that will actually let you experience a good work-life balance.
Set Aside Time in Your Calendar
We all set aside blocks of time to accomplish particularly large projects. We shouldn’t forget that we have to make time for ourselves at least every now-and-again. Our days are mainly calendar-centric, with very few things that happen which have not been planned ahead of time or given some forethought and planning.
It is often too easy to be caught up in work, so set aside some time for yourself in your calendar to relax and refresh your mind. When you work remotely, you may not even need to travel too far, it could simply be the next room where you don’t bring any work, or even back to bed to catch up on sleep.
Embrace Your Hobbies
Working remotely brings the benefit of a certain degree of flexibility which allows them to accomplish work in a timeframe that suits them the best, as long as certain objectives and deadlines are accomplished on time.
You could use certain sections of your day to exercise or wind down. Block out a section of time for you to spend with your family, make art or make music. Aside from making yourself more productive when you do return to work, this will make you, and those around you, happier.
Make a Contingency Plan
While it would be amazing to put on your resume, no one can see into the future. Nobody can predict when an emergency situation may occur, but one can always prepare in advance. If you’re the main person in your organization, you should have a second-in-command to take over should you be unavailable.
Having this kind of redundancy will remedy some of your colleagues’ concerns and ensures that no problems will arise while you are away. Meaning that you can safely enjoy your time outside of work knowing that any questions or concerns can be answered by someone who will respond immediately.
Set Expectations With Regards to Your Availability
A great deal of remote teams uses a variety of online tools to collaborate with one another. Some even come with indicators every time you are available. But one must be lurking on these networks just to appear active and busy. Other than getting the work done, you also need genuine offline breaks from work.
If you collaborate with teammates or have a supervisor who has a different time zone, let them know if there would be a conflict on your schedule.
Focus on Being Present for the People Around You
If you’re having a hard time trying to tear yourself away from the screens which you have been accustomed to using for hours-on-end, consider doing just that for the ones you care about, or the ones who care about you.
If your pets or kids are asking for attention while you are waiting on your phone, barely listening, or if your friends feel that the notifications on your devices taking over your life, you may want to ban screens for certain periods of time. Instead of waiting on your devices, have an interaction with someone you care about.
Work takes up most of our time for the day, and most days of our week, it shouldn’t be surprising that you get accustomed to staring at a screen and wind up feeling uncomfortable when not doing so due to the fear of being unproductive.
This is precisely why taking a total break from work every now and then is so important. You may not notice but your work takes over your daily life, even outside the office, finding yourself expecting a nonexistent call from your supervisor about your project. Once in a while, you have to disconnect from work and reconnect with the people around you.