When you’re new to working from home the lines between working and personal time can blur easily. And when you’re stuck at home with nothing else much to do, that line can quickly disappear.
Now is not the time to work yourself into burnout. Managing your work-life balance is important at all times, and especially now in challenging times. Don’t forget to prioritize your health and wellness while continuing to work your day job.
5 tips for managing your work-life balance in the new normal
Take a breath for a moment and get yourself reorganized. Here are five ideas to help you continue to manage your work-life balance while you’re stuck at home.
Set up a separate workspace
One of the things that makes it easy to constantly work is when you can’t physically leave it. When you go to the office and then leave at the end of the day, for the most part, your workday is done. Sure sometimes you take a few remaining tasks with you, or you check your email on your phone, but most days leaving the building means ending your workday.
Now that there is no way to leave the building, you need to set up separate space in your home so you can have a split between when you’re working and when you’re home.
If you haven’t already set up a home office, maybe you can use a spare bedroom, dining room or another spot in your home that you generally don’t use.
Ideally it’s a place you can literally close the door on at the end of the day. You may need to get a little creative in the short term and move around furniture or set up a table.
While current circumstances won’t be forever if you find yourself working from home on a regular basis in the future having “separate” office space will help you keep that work-life balance going forward.
Rebuild your routine
Just like you had a routine to get you up and out each morning, you still need a routine to organize your morning. Now is not the time to sleep away all of the extra time you have by not having to commute.
Find ways to take on new projects you’ve put off because you “didn’t have the time”. Remember those hobbies you wanted to do, or that pile of books you wanted to read?
A routine can help make better use of your time to check a few things off your to-do list that’s been gathering dust.
Set start and stop working times
Just like you should set up a routine to manage your day, also include start and stop times for when you’re working. If you generally worked 8 AM to 5 PM every day, try to stick that same schedule.
Or ask yourself why the times are now extending beyond regular working hours. Sure you may need to do this from time to time because of a project but it shouldn’t need to become a regular thing.
Now that you have some time back from not commuting you should be able to put that time to use for all the things you’ve had to put off because you’re “too busy”.
Use separate computers for work and person
If you have your own computer or devices at home use those for surfing the internet or social media. Avoid using your work computer because:
- it’s likely against company policy
- it’s likely being tracked by the company
- it makes it harder to stop working at the end of the day
If you blend your work and personal use of a computer into one computer you will constantly check your work email or simply continue on a work task or project assignment.
To leave your workday you need to disconnect from it as much as possible.
You still have personal responsibilities to manage at home and you need to make sure you continue to do those.
Make sure you’re eating regular, healthy meals
One final thing to not forget is to eat. You need to maintain your health and wellness, especially during the time of a global medical crisis.
Make sure you continue to eat regular meals and avoid junk food. Nows the time more than ever to keep your immune system up.
Eating poorly will affect the way you make decisions and feel about the situation. Sure there’s amazing comfort food out there to get you through the difficult times, but also don’t forget about moderation.
Meal prep and meal planning can help you stay on track. So while it may feel unnecessary to take the extra steps, having quick meal options ready to go make eating healthy easy. There are no decisions to be made, you just need to eat.
How else are you managing your work-life balance in the new normal?
If working from home was an occasional thing in the past and now it’s every day, you need to make a few adjustments to keep your work-life balance from going off the rails.
Now is not the time to burn yourself out. Setup a new routine that fits the new normal to ensure you have a clear workday. Eating healthy will maintain your immune system and ability to think. Having separate spaces and computers help you leave the workday behind at the end of the day.
What other things are you doing to adjust to the new normal and maintain a work-life balance?
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