Work life balance
Is working at home because of COVID-19 having some unexpected effects. Are you doing too much work? Are you or your relationships not doing so well? We have the best strategies to help you regain your work life balance.
Unwanted effects of working from home
In today’s time with working at home because of Covid-19 it is so easy to work continually, and become a workaholic, not take breaks and not tune out or turn off. When you work from home, it’s easy to start work early and work late into the night especially when the email is only a few feet away, messages ping and phones ring regardless of whether you are signed off or not. Working long days is easy and taking a break hard as you feel guilt ridden when you have so much to do.
Even though we desire to have balance in life and are eager to have a fulfilling social and private life, it maybe guilt, commitment or pressure from bosses or our need to succeed in our jobs that keep us constantly working. The consequences of poor work/life balance can be huge to us causing burnout, depression and anxiety, sleep deprivation, as well as the effect it has on our partners, relationships and family which can be huge, creating tension, conflict and even jealousy because we put our dedication to our jobs in front of the most important people in our lives.
If you are out of control and can’t change or at least improve your work-life balance then you will either start hating your work, you will resent the time you spend and start hating your life, cracks will start appearing in your relationships and conflicts will happen. Below is a list of strategies that if implemented will positively affect your daily life and make you a happier person.
#1 Assess your situation and be honest about what is happening
Acknowledge what is happening in the work place and what is happening in your relationship and be truthful to you about how you feel.
Ask yourself the hard questions:
- Are you overworking each week and feeling tired?
- Is what you are doing essential and must be done at that time or could it be done at another time?
- What is happening in your whole life that stresses you the most?
- Do you have enough down time, me time and time to relax?
- How often are you prioritising doing something you really enjoy?
- What would a full and meaningful life look like to you?
#2 Set clear boundaries
It is really important that we learn to set clear boundaries for both ourselves and for others. This will sustain our productivity while keeping our sanity and prioritise our family time which supports our well-being.
#3 Track your time
Have a very definite start time and finish time, track your time, have a log so you know how long each task takes and where you are spending your time and where you are wasting it. Don’t deviate, especially when you have special times with loved ones planned. Be flexible with your working hours so you can fit in personal time when necessary. I often pick up grandchildren from school but work other nights later getting things done. By organising my time and working this way will increase your job satisfaction and will help you keep staff by boosting morale.
Use a diary and have a to-do list organiser to help you develop a business and personal plan that incorporates both your professional and personal goals. A planner will help you break down goals into activities or the smaller chunks it takes to achieve them. By staying on task and not deviating to unnecessary jobs you will stop time wasting, giving you back more time for both productive business jobs and personal time.
Some people colour co-ordinate their diaries or planners, using different colours for business, social and me time. Doing this will distinguish your time choices making them more obvious so you can reflect where you are spending your time so you can adjust your activities.
#4 Schedule annual leave and family time
Set your calendar intentionally, at the beginning of each year work out when the family to take a break together and mark that time in the diary, cross out the time so you know you won’t be working and make this time a priority for the whole family by leaving work at work. Mark special family dates and times in the diary, so you will be both mentally and physically available and the time together will be a priority.
#5 Nurture your relationships
Nurture your relationships with friends, keep in touch with them, schedule dinner and social interaction regularly with close friends in your planner. Leave work at work and be 100% present to all your friends.
#6 Make time for yourself or “me time” .
People often forget about “me time” when thinking about work/life balance. They tend to think more about social and family life, but having time for yourself is the key to feeling refreshed, balanced and satisfied especially when you are busy both at work and in your social life. What each of us need can vary, I personally need a day each week where I do nothing, I spend this day either watching a series, doing some art or craft, gardening or just pottering around the house. Others may need time each day, they may go for a run, do yoga, a meditation, take a bath or do some sort of art and craft. When you can make “me time” a habit it will do wonders for your well-being.
Make “me time” a habit. It will do wonders for your well-being.
#7 Take breaks throughout the day
Starting the day with a 10-20 minute meditation will focus your energy so you can concentrate and plan your day with intention. Make sure you have a lunch break, morning and afternoon tea, and schedule them you’re your diary just like you would do if you were working at work. Get out of the office, take a break away from your desk and go for a walk, especially when you are feeling stressed, the fresh air and exercise will do you good.
#8 Leave the door open
Don’t lock yourself in a room and keep everyone else out, let the fresh air flow around the room, I have a salt lamp on every day to keep the energy feeling good and be accessible to your family so they can approach you but also make sure they understand that you are at work too. Make sure your environment is comfortable and right for you.
How we manage our work/life balance is our choice, it is all about where we invest our energy. It is our decision-making process that helps us navigate and decide what sort of lives we want to lead and what gives us satisfaction, giving us a successful happy life or a stressful, high pressured unbalanced one. A well balanced life has so many benefits for us which lead to a healthier, happier meaningful life, where we have more mental clarity and focus because we have an increased work satisfaction, improved relationships, better physical and mental health as well as an increased satisfaction to life in general, enabling us to live a longer life.
Implementing strategies for your balanced life can start today, it is up to us, if we chose to change what is not working and impliment new strategies. Go on, just do it, make the change.