Back with another blog post today about how to achieve work-life balance during this crazy pandemic time. This entire process has undoubtedly rocked most of us. It’s thrown out any normalcy that we thought we had in life — or at least forced us to get used to a new normal.
Whether you are working from home or not, we’ve got some strategies to help you get through.
Define what work-life balance means to you
If you asked two of my friends what work-life balance means to them, you would get two completely separate answers. One believes that self-care and making plenty of time to cook healthy meals is very important in her life. This means that she gets up early to walk or run before getting to work. She works hard, and she has all her life, but making time for herself to do these things is very important.
The other friend sees work-life balance as working as long as he is needed. If that is early in the morning, or late at night, he will give up other things that may be going on to accommodate work. For him, balancing work and life means to be accommodating for work, and fit life in as he has time.
Perhaps you know people who are similar to either of these situations. Neither is wrong, but they are two different approaches to how someone balances their work and life. Define what work-life balance means to you. Having a job you enjoy and feel motivated to do, as well as at home can help achieve the balance you are looking for too. This is the easiest way to understand what is essential in your life and how you can best make your life work around it.
Working away from home
Maybe you feel a bit left out of the ‘balance’ others who can work from home are having? One advantage you have over people that work from home is a transition from work to home. Be intentional about your transition time. You’ve probably already set up your ‘sanitation station,’ but if not, set up a space to hold your shoes, and disinfectant for your phone, keys and other items. If you have the option to shower at work, bring in some great body care products to make it a soothing experience.
Create your Batcave
If you work at home, having your workspace, your living space, and your activities organized is key to achieving work-life balance. This is what I like to refer to as “creating your Batcave.” Creating that space where you live, work, and play that makes you successful. If you don’t organize for where, when, and how you set out to be successful each day, it will be tough to ever feel balanced.
Reevaluate your work from home space
In your workspace, maybe you work best in a dark room, with cold temperature. If this is you, perhaps the home office should move to the basement instead of your kitchen table. Maybe you feel most productive between 10 pm and midnight. If this is you, could you structure your work or activities that require a lot of focus for this time of day? Then there are those of us that think a mid-afternoon siesta is best for productivity. How does that fit into your schedule making sure you are on top of your game while balancing work and life?
Incorporating play: Recess is encouraged
There also has to be time for play. Even during a pandemic getting out of the house for walking, hiking, biking, gardening, or your favorite activity may be as important to balance. Set reminders to get up, move around, and schedule activities that get you out and about safely.
Front seat and back seat
Let’s face it – We know that at certain times work is going to have to take a front seat, while life takes a back seat. And there will be times where life is riding shotgun and work gets punted to the back. This is pretty normal. If you work an 8-5 job, work is your obligation from 8-5. Sure you should take a break for lunch, and perhaps get outside for a short walk, but primarily during these hours, you are going to be working.
Planning for this and making sure that you make time for yourself and your family once work is over will help you take control of your work-life balance. Need more resources? We’ve got them.