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Improving your work-life balance

Because of Covid19, a lot of people have to work from home, and I hear around me frequently that they have a hard time finding a slow living balance while doing that. I’ve been an entrepreneur for about 10 years. Most of which I haven’t had an office, so I just worked from home. And with a lot of trial and error, I am beginning to reach that perfect work-life balance while working from home.

In this blog, I will share four tips that you can use immediately. This is not only useful for entrepreneurs, but for anyone who has to work from home and has control over their own agenda.

#Tip1: Start slow

Start your morning slow! We’re so used to jumping out of bed as soon as the alarm clock rings, all our thoughts and lists are already on our minds, instantly the rush, and that’s how we proceed our day. Well, it can enormously help to start the day calm, to take control of your day in the morning, to set your own intentions for the day, and to face that day with a calm mind.

My morning routine looks like this: 

  •  Wake up and open the curtains, and sometimes go back to bed if I just want to listen to affirmations (mornings are perfect for imprinting positive thoughts in your head). I made a Spotify playlist with a few of my favorite affirmations and meditations. You’ll find the playlist down here!
  • Meditation. Whatever you like as a beginner. You could do 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Meditation helps for conscious living, to stay in the moment, helps concentrate, and also helps with the potential challenges that come your our during the day. 
  • Music, dance to wake up, shower and then get to work

Create a easy morning routine that helps you start your day slowly.

#Tip 2: Separate work from private

Since you’re working at home, your home is not only your house but also your office. Some people are fortunate to have a separate workroom. If you’ve got the space, use it. Several studies have shown that it is good to separate your professional life from your private life.

Even when you have a separate office, you should take a couple of these things into account. At home, I work at the kitchen table. Because off Corona my husband has also been working from home, he needs the desk because of his equipment, because of this I work at the kitchen table. Actually, before that, I loved working at the kitchen table. Food is in the kitchen:)

In the morning, I make sure to set up my dining table as a workspace. I’ll take my laptop, keyboard, stand, mouse, and headphones out of the cupboard and put them on the table. That means I’m going to get to work. At the end of the day, my laptop, keyboard, stand, mouse and headphones are back in the wardrobe, which means that the working day is over.

To separate work from life, I also make sure I don’t check and answer any work-related texts, phone calls or emails until I am ready to work at my desk. And when I am done working I turn it all off or mute it.

#Tip 3: Fresh air

A trip to your office and back home gives you a chance to get some fresh air. Here in Amsterdam, for example, it is common to cycle about 20-30 minutes to work. So this is a lot of fresh air! And we need that fresh air, the oxygen. Okay, maybe the quality of air is better outside the city;) but we still need it.

You can forget those moments of fresh air when you work from home, but you shouldn’t. Schedule a stroll every day for at least 15 minutes. 

Sometimes I have one of those days where I think I don’t have time for a 15-minute walk. Yes of course there is always time;) This is just my mind fooling me. At those moments I make sure that I stand or sit on the balcony. Just breathe in some fresh air. This is also a great break in between working.

#Tip 4: Eat

Picture: Shannon Milling

You are in a good flow, but lunchtime has long passed. Your body does not necessarily indicate that you are hungry, or perhaps it is, but your thinking…  I’m just going to finish this last task. Recognizable?

This describes my lifestyle as an entrepreneur who worked from home in my early years. I know better now. Even if you’re comfortable with your flow, a quick break will help you get into your flow even better afterward. More importantly, your body, and therefore your brain, needs fuel.

Sometimes it’s really difficult to keep this up, so here is a useful tip to help you. Set your alarm clock for all the moments you want something to eat and drink. I set a reminder for a morning snack, a reminder for lunch, and a reminder for an afternoon snack.

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