With millions of people still unexpectedly working from home, one benefit for many has been the chance to spend more quality time with their families — as well as saving time and money no longer commuting to the office daily. However, when your work life and home life overlap, with no time or break between the two, investing in your own well-being becomes more critical than ever.
If it’s time to take a step back and reset the balance between work and life, to find increased personal happiness and continued fulfilment in your professional career, here are five strategies for balancing your work and everything else in the new normal.
Focus on the key tasks
Don’t have an endless list of things to complete each day. Focus on achieving just three important tasks, and when you accomplish them your motivation will skyrocket!
Similarly, don't strive for the perfect schedule; aim for a realistic one. If the events of 2020 have taught us one thing it’s that your physical, emotional and mental health should be your top priority.
Learn to say no
The art of saying ‘no’ is one many people find very difficult to master. Everybody has so many requests asked of them , and opportunities to do different things, they end up saying yes or agreeing to many of them out of a sense of obligation rather than because it’s something they want to do.
Having the confidence and courage to say yes only to the things that really matter to you is hugely important and will give you back so much time and energy.
Reimagine your commute
Working from home can feel like you're always on the job. There is no longer a delineation between leaving work and commuting home, which means no time to decompress and in turn, leads to stress.
If you work from home, get dressed for work each morning and take a 15-minute walk. When you return home, go straight to your dedicated workspace, if possible, and start the day. When you finish at the end of the day, switch back into home life by changing your outfit, and doing something with your kids, your partner or your pet.
It’s also a great idea to schedule one thing you look forward to each day. That could be some socially distanced exercising, reading or cooking with a partner. The activity doesn’t have to be time-consuming, complicated or expensive.
Inject some perspective
It’s all too easy to lose perspective over work. When working alone, and only engaging over Zoom or calls, it can be hard to vocalize – or even recognize – when things are getting to be too much and becoming overwhelming. Without the natural environment of talking and sharing with others, it can be all too easy to worry over things that we can’t control. Remember to step back. Consider those less fortunate and what you might do for them. Focusing on how you can take action to make a positive difference will surely get you off the worry wheel.
Pay it forward
Start a list of what (if anything) is better in your life right now — so you can hold on to lessons learned. For example, you may have learned more about how to budget and taken a closer look at your spending habits to see which purchases are really necessary. This could have been a good year to rethink your financial plan, consider some of the gaps you didn’t realize were there and take care of those for the years ahead. Think about how to carry those lessons forward into the future.
Finding a work life balance can take a bit of experimenting. Be patient with yourself as you learn to adjust to the continued evolution of your situation and take an active approach to finding your own work/life balance.