Between socializing, parenting, running errands, and working, the coronavirus has significantly altered the way we live our lives. For many people, the public health crisis has meant a sudden shift to remote work environments as officials stress the importance of social distancing.
Many of us will continue to work at home, simultaneously juggling multiple roles, for some time to come during the pandemic. Consider these tips to stay healthy and productive:
If you’re asking yourself “What can I do to keep it together? How do I stay sane and keep a healthy work-life balance?,” you’re not alone. Here are some tips to consider and redefine work-life balance during this pandemic:
First things first, get your mind in the game and define to yourself why you need this balance.
We need a work-life balance to feel good, but also to do good. And when we say, “do good,” we mean brainpower, decision-making, creativity, empathy, problem-solving, etc. — all those qualities we need to be a good leader, parent, partner or contributor. So it is important to realize work-life balance is not “nice to have” — it’s critical, it can make or break, people, jobs, companies and relationships.
Define your home office. Remove the “temporary” sign and make your workspace work for you.
We’re not talking Instagram worthy working spaces that could break your wallet, a dedicated area consisting of everything you need to perform your job. It could even be a table at the corner of your living room (most of us probably haven’t entertained guests for what seems like ages). Dedicate this corner table for just work, and try to keep all your other surfaces, especially your bed, work free.
Set boundaries. Establish a clear start and end point to your workday.
Have fixed start and end time to your work day. If it helps dress up as if you were to go to work if you must, but arrange your work schedule to fit a pre-planned time frame. If that meeting with Fred from finance is set to go till late, then why not start late. That will give you time for some catching up with the rest of the family or perhaps a game of fetch with your four-legged friend in your backyard. Here is another advantage of creating a separate workspace: You can leave it. Maybe you can even close the door. Set your office hours and stick to them. Don’t abandon the habit of weekly planning; expand it. And communicate it to everyone, at home and at work.
Don’t forget your entitlement to meal times.
Time box your work commitments and allow yourself to leave your desk or office space at meal times. Having your meals at your desk doesn’t allow for mindful eating, resulting in you eating more than you actually need leaving you feeling all lethargic and drowsy. On the other hand if you don’t eat you are going to feel tired physically and mentally. Neither will help you make strong decisions. There is a reason why psychologists recommend shopping on a full stomach.
And finally, find moments of stillness:
Another advantage of remote work: Nobody will notice if you sit down and close your eyes for a moment. Find a quiet corner and take a moment to just sit and think. Seeing things from a new perspective can generate new ideas. Take a quiet walk before an important meeting. Stillness creates space that helps us make better decisions.
Don’t let the pandemic burn you out. See it for what it is, a god given gift to cultivate new relationships or work on existing ones, try out that new recipe, or learn a new skill online, if nothing else take some time off to dim the lights and dance away to your heart’s content. Take the extra time to work on yourself and challenge yourself with being a better version of you.