Working from home is becoming more common, and it might sound like the ideal situation to many people. You can reduce time spent on things like commuting, you can work in your PJs if you choose, and you can be more productive in many ways because you don’t have to worry about issues like office politics.

While those certainly are benefits of a work at home situation, there’s one big concern a lot of people struggle with, particularly if they’re self-employed or entrepreneurs working from home. That concern is how to maintain a better sense of work-life balance

That might sound counterintuitive because you’re spending so much time at home and have the opportunity to create a flexible schedule, but a lot of people find that it’s challenging to leave the work behind for the day when they work at home.

The following are some realistic ways to maintain a better sense of work-life balance if you’re a work-at-home professional.

Create Office Hours

You have the flexibility to create your own schedule, but that doesn’t mean you should be available to work 14 hours a day. You should create well-defined office hours and work days for yourself and let your clients or your employer know that’s when you’ll be available. Write down your office hours if you have to, so that you let yourself know when it’s time to walk away from your desk for the day.

Don’t Waste Time

A lot of work at home professionals find that they have trouble getting enough done in a day, but that’s because they’re spending traditional work hours either surfing the Internet, maybe taking a TV break, or out running errands. You probably wouldn’t do these things if you worked in a conventional office environment, so don’t do them when you work at home during your office hours. Make sure your office hours are spent exclusively on work, so when it’s time to end your day you won’t feel guilty about not getting enough done. 

Leave at the End of Your Workday

If you’ve set the end of your day at 5 p.m. and the clock strikes 5, and you’re still at home, it can be tempting to stay in work mode. Try to combat this and have more balance in your life by making it a goal to leave home when your office hours are up for the day whenever possible. You might go for a walk, go to the gym, run your errands, or whatever you want or need to do. 

Close Your Office Up On the Weekends

It’s important to have work-life balance to maintain strong relationships in your life, so your weekends should be dedicated to spending time with people you love and doing things you enjoy. First, create a designated office space in your home, and preferably one with a door. 

When Friday at 5 comes around, close your laptop, close all of your work files and close your door. If your computer and paperwork are sitting where you can see them all weekend, such as on your dining room table, it’s going to be a lot more tempting to start working, even when you shouldn’t be.

Maintaining work-life balance is good for everyone, including people who work from home, so take it seriously so that you can thrive in both your personal and professional lives. 

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