Ahh the elusive work/life balance. Something we all wish we had more of. Something hardly any of us gets all the time. Life's not a straight line but a curving roller coaster — sometimes work's going to take up more of your attention and other times life will. But there are some things you can do in your home and with your home to increase your chances of striking that balance a little more often.
If you gleefully leave work precisely at closing time without looking back...not thinking about it until you clock in the next morning, this post probably isn't for you. This is for all the passionate workaholics that love their job...and maybe spend a little bit too much time at it. Entrepreneurs and full-time freelancers you count, too!
Your home can't control how much or what type of work you do when you're at the office or make your work load lighter, but it can help you make the most of any non-working time you might have. It can help lighten your schedule in other ways, which might make room for more non-work stuff. It can make the time you do spend at home more rich and filled with fun. And it could make you more rested, more motivated and your best self so you can attack work projects faster and more efficiently (and maybe even leave work when you want to).
You can work with your home to clean it more quickly and efficiently so you have more fun time
Spending all your time cleaning your home — or swimming in a mess — takes away too much of your precious non-working time, and can make you feel like all you do every day is vacuum or work on a laptop. But finding the right cleaning schedule for your lifestyle, partnered with continuously working on it, picking up after yourself regularly and asking for help from the other people you work with can all help you keep a house clean all the time. How can this help you achieve work/life balance, exactly? Well, waking up in a clean house can make you feel more motivated to start the day (and you might be able to get out the door faster and to work to tackle your to-do list sooner).
It can help you sleep better — and feel your best
Getting a good night's sleep can help so many areas of your life. Work/life balance is one of them, because when you're feeling your most rested, you'll work better and get your work done faster. You might even feel like you're more creative and producing better work, making you feel better about the job you do and allow you to feel like you can put work away more easily to enjoy your time away from work.
It can inspire you to pursue your hobbies more
Sometimes a big part of not feeling like you have work/life balance — feeling like work is taking over your whole life — is simply not having anything else that you really love filling up your outside work time (so you fill it up with work). But making your life's container bigger — filling your time with more than just work and cleaning — can make you feel like you have a better balance with the work you do have to do.
So find a hobby you really love, and use your home to help support that hobby, by carving out an area to do that hobby in, keeping your hobby supplies organized, easily accessible and maybe even visible. And then if your hobby happens to be one where there's a visual outcome, hang the results of your hobby in and around your home so you can be reminded that there's more to your life than just work.
It can help you entertain friends so you are distracted from work
One way to achieve more work/life balance is to kind of force yourself to get away from doing and thinking about work (but force yourself in a way that's not just Netflixing). And you can do that by hosting a regular get together of friends at your home each week or each month. From book club to sci-fi movie night to a casual cocktail party, by making an event you host a regular part of everyone's calendar, you're locked in to it and can't find a reason to work. How can your home help? You can focus on creating a space where you can fit folks in to entertain and make it comfortable and welcoming.
Let your home hide your technology
You can work with your home to hide your technology so you're not always compelled to check in to work even when you're not there anymore. By creating specific, out-of-sight places for your cell phone and laptop to live when you come home means strengthening the idea of putting space between your work day and your home evening. This could help you feel more balanced by not being visually reminded that there's still work to be done.