One of the misconceptions about working from home is that you’re automatically going to have this wealth of time to do whatever you want whenever you want. If you’re living alone, this might not apply so much since you’re just doing your own thing. But if you’re like me and in a relationship and have kids floating around, simple things can become quite complicated.
When it comes to being the sole home-based income earner, it often comes with this mindset that if you have more time at home, it’s easier for you to handle everything around the house and balance your work. We’re not even talking about gender here; many couples have mentioned the struggle of being the “one at home”, regardless of antiquated roles in the home.
What makes it harder is when you’re the sole home-based income earner and work as much as your partner (if not more). I found myself in a situation where both my partner and I were maintaining 60+ hour weeks, which was insane. While we’re not going to focus on how that can impact a relationship if your schedules are out of sync (that’s an entirely different post) we are going to talk about how it can make things stressful at home otherwise.
Here are 3 ways you can better balance your “home” and “office” times and maintain some sanity:
- Everyone has a job. No excuses.
It’s imperative that you realistically divide the housework and maintenance tasks in a way that no one is totally swamped with it. My fiance is responsible for taking out the garbage and on weekends (when I’m busiest) he’ll take up the dishes and general cleaning. The kids each has a task that’s their responsibility. While it’s not always perfection, it does take the stress off of me to not have to worry about those items tasked to other people, and we eventually get it done. The key is to not let yourself get entirely overwhelmed.
2. Schedule, schedule, schedule
This might be a “duh” statement, but actually creating a daily schedule based off of your workload and housework and other obligations will help simplify the chaos. It sounds tedious, but it’s really not. Set up chunks of time where you know you need to just work, and chunks of time to tackle the other stuff. Make sure you’re also delegating time to non-chore items like reading, listening to music, taking a walk….time you can commit to some detoxifying normalcy.
3. Utilize Time-Saving Hacks
“Life Hacks” is a term that’s sometimes abused, but there’s easy ways to help cut down on the stress of juggling work and home. Some examples would be to invest time into meal planning so you already have meals created for the days where you are too busy to sit in the kitchen or decluttering hacks to help make daily maintenance of your house a breeze. Not everyone can afford to have someone assist with the things we don’t have time for, but there’s ways we can take the pressure off of ourselves.
No matter what, finding that balance is something we can all do if we have a plan. Communicate with those who share a space with you, delegate, execute, repeat. With the freelance/home based workstyle being so unstructured at times, it’s very beneficial to learn to be incredibly fine tuned when you’re off the clock.