One of my clients this week was expressing discouragement that she was feeling extremely run down from working too much. How do you create a similar rhythm to what you have when you go to an office?
Achieving a good work-life balance while working from home can be challenging. It takes careful thought and planning. Even more so when everyone has suddenly become a remote worker due to coronavirus.
When we think of work-life balance, we often think of both being in perfect harmony, with equal hours spent on both sides. However, a view this literal is unrealistic and bad for our mental health. It will only leave you feeling incredibly overwhelmed and unaccomplished.
We need to redefine work-life balance while working from home.
The first thing you need to realize is that work-life balance while working from home is more of a juggle or a blending of both aspects of our life. It will look different for each of us and could change on a daily basis. It will contrast drastically if you are single, married, or have kids at home all day.
It varies so much between us because we lead such individual lives, and we all have our own unique priorities. And that’s ok! I hope these tips to find your work-life balance while working from home can help.
1. Let go of perfection
We should always strive for excellence instead of perfection, this is even more important when striking a work-life balance while working from home.
When you are available all the time, your workday never ends. You need those times when you shut off. Give yourself a chance to separate from work. It can be as simple as not checking email in the evening or on the weekend. Allow yourself moments of calm instead of rushing to complete every task.
I have been bringing this up regularly recently since it is good for us to all be reminded of its importance. Often the first to go when our routine is disrupted in such a big way, exercise should be the first thing we make time for. It reduces stress, pumps up endorphins, and lifts your mood. Even 15 minutes can make a difference. There are tons of free and low-cost classes online.
4. Get rid of time wasters – both activities and people
If it doesn’t reflect your true priorities, put it on your not-to-do list. Draw boundaries. Politely excuse yourself from conference calls that you don’t need to be part of. It is not selfish to devote your attention to activities that are the best use of your time.
5. Eat a proper lunch
At work we may be more compelled to take a lunch break when your coworkers remind you to – this doesn’t happen at home. Make sure to set aside time in your day to take a proper break. Set a calendar or phone reminder. Even better, do a virtual lunch break with your team, family member or friend so you can connect with each other and get a proper time-out.
6. “Go home” on time
It can be hard to get up and walk away when you no longer worry about getting stuck in traffic or picking children up on time. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have a “go home” mentality. It means, decide what time you finish up for the day, and when the clock gets there stop working and leave your workspace.
Judge your productivity by your results, not the hours you put in – especially right now. Work-life balance while working at home is all about creating a new normal and sticking to it instead of working away until the wee hours. You will be much more efficient with the extra sleep anyway.
7. Build transitions into and out of work
Your commute not only gets you to and from work but also gives your brain time to prepare for your day and decompress after. Just because you don’t have that commute, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an equivalent routine to ease into and out of your day.
Give your brain time to hit the reset button. Have a signal at the beginning and end of your day to serve as a buffer.
Listen to the radio, read or spend some extra time with a pet. Get in some exercise to equal your walk to work by walking around the block for an equal amount of time. For your evening “commute”, do it in reverse.
8. Don’t forget to socialize
When the whole office starts working from home, you get cut off from a lot of casual daily interactions. If you’re not used to working alone this can make you feel lonely. Those random social interactions help break up your day.
Combat this by talking to your work colleagues a couple of times throughout the day. Have a video coffee break, ask what they did on the weekend, catch up on their family news, reach out and share that joke or meme, or just discuss the shows your binge-watching. If you normally talk to them about a specific topic, keep it up.
These little interactions go a long way to maintain your work-life balance when working from home.
9. Don’t sweat the small stuff
As with every new undertaking, you will not be perfect the first time around. Give yourself a break. There isn’t one tried and true rule to finding work-life balance, especially in this ever-changing situation. In fact, how you approach it will be as individual as you are.
No matter what this balancing act looks like, the most important part is that it works for both you and your family. If both your life and work are getting the attention they deserve, whatever you are doing is right for you.
How ever you are dealing with managing your work-life balance while working from home will be unique to you. It can be really difficult even for those of us used to it. Be kind to yourself.
I hope you enjoy and get value out of this week’s round-up of curated articles just for you that I know are providing the best of the best in the areas of Job Search, Career Transition/Exploration, Career Advancement/Leadership Development and Work-Life Balance/ Mindfulness.
I would love your feedback because this really is for you. If you have requests of what you would like to see or want to ask me any questions, feel free to reach out to me.
If I can be of further support to you, let’s have a conversation. Here is a link to get on my calendar: www.michelebrant.com/call.
Have a great week. I will be sending positive energy your way.
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