By: Anne Brown, TNJ
With so many people working remotely due to the pandemic, it’s easy to lose a work-life balance — especially if the kids are home learning remotely. You may find yourself working more hours. Or your working hours may be erratic as you try to juggle household responsibilities at the same time.
This is a prime recipe for burnout.
But don’t despair, it’s never too late to create a better work-life balance. Here are 7 tips from experts.
Just like when you’re in the office, make sure to take a break. “On your computers, you can set up an alarm to remind you to take a break, that could be to go for a walk or maybe take a coffee break,” advises Azza Shahid of Physicians Thrive, a financial planning company for doctors. The company has been working remotely for the past eight months due to the pandemic
Office Work Vs Home Work
Separate work chores from home chores. “When you are working from home you may feel the need to go check on the laundry that is piling while working. People who work from home usually do not separate home chores from their office work and this results in them being unproductive and distracted,” notes Shahid.
Create A Routine
Have a set work time, break time, and end time for your work duties. “People who work from home tend to not follow a proper routine like they were when going to the office,” Shahid points out. “They sleep late, wake up late, start their work late. This results in work not finishing on time and also the feeling that they have been working all day. It is important to have a proper routine.”
Since you are working and living in the same space, you need to create a set of boundaries.
“Establish non-negotiable boundaries about work time and your workspace. Then have a short routine to transition between work and all your other domains or areas of life. These boundaries take mindfulness and intention, but they will protect you from burnout,” says empowerment coach Kathryn Ely.
Explain your boundaries to those at home and work. “If people at work don’t seem very considerate of your time at home (or if friends and family have a lot to say while you’re at the office), it’s perfectly acceptable to put your foot down,” stresses Dr. Tasha Holland-Kornegay, a professional counselor and founder of WIRL (WellnessIRL .com). a tech space used to address occupational burnout.
Holland-Kornegay adds, “By letting everyone know when you are and aren’t available to talk, you can avoid having to keep too many plates spinning at one time.”
The more organized you are, the easier it will be to enjoy a great balance.
“Organize parts of the day for work or home activities. Many people dedicate mornings and nights to spending time with family, leaving the middle of the day to focus on work.,” offers Dr. Holland-Kornegay. “This is great – but you can take a few steps to prevent too much overlap: Consider avoiding hectic morning rituals by getting everything ready the night before; try staying at work an extra half hour to clear out as many lingering tasks as possible; and dedicate a day of the week to family time, like a Friday pizza and movie night.”
Don’t Forget “You”
When you are handling a lot of plates at once, it’s easy to put yourself on the backburner.
“It’s hard to spend time with your family while still doing your best at work, but don’t forget about your own personal wellbeing. Your personal goals are also important. So, if you’ve been meaning to start exercising, reading, dieting, or if you have other wellness or spiritual goals that you want to pursue, follow through with them. Taking care of yourself will leave you with a lot more energy and joy to spread to the parts of your life that matter most,” says Holland-Kornegay.
Manage Distractions & Interruptions.
Distractions and interruptions can take you off tack.
“Every time you are interrupted, it can take up to 30 minutes to get back your focus. If there’s any way for you to isolate yourself in time blocks, you’ll accomplish more work in less time. Turn off notifications on your smartphone, other than texting, the phone app itself, and any apps you use for work,” suggests life coach Michael Levitt, founder of Breakfast Leadership Network. Levitt often speaks on burnout recovery and prevention.