COVID tipped the scales, but you can regain balance…
Adjusting to change is a challenge that we have all recently faced. Most of us had an efficient routine that was working quite well until it was interrupted by unexpected developments that ushered in a new era of working from home. Previously, it was much easier to maintain a work-life balance because the outline was simple… you did work at the office, and you did life at home. But then suddenly, we found ourselves working mere inches from our beds, with family in the next room, and distractions all around us. We were surrounded by home and family tasks that needed to be done, while also needing to maintain an air of professionalism and meet the demands of our jobs. The balance between work and life became increasingly difficult.
The ability to successfully balance your work and personal lives also supports your health and productivity. By having a good work-life balance you will reduce stress, improve your mental and physical health, and prevent burnout. It also helps strengthen both personal and professional relationships and boosts motivation and efficient performance.
It is easy to talk about creating a work-life balance, but actions speak louder than words, and it takes action to accomplish this goal. Here are four tips that may be helpful to apply in your own life!
1. Create a schedule
For many of us, structure innately existed because we previously had built-in schedules. We knew what time we were due to arrive at work when our meetings were taking place, and what time we needed to depart in order to start our personal life routine at home. Even though you may currently be working from home, it is still really important to create set working hours and more importantly stick to them! By creating a schedule you can better manage your time both professionally and personally and map out what your priorities are. Your time has value so invest it in the things that are important to you.
2. Set boundaries
In a remote or hybrid work environment, it can be difficult to set boundaries because we are all so electronically connected. While technology is certainly an asset in many situations, it can at times be a double-edged sword. If we aren’t careful, it can jeopardize a healthy work-life balance. Your technology allows remote/hybrid work to exist, and it keeps us connected to friends and family. However, without clearly set boundaries, technology can make it very difficult to separate the two. You may find your work spilling into your personal life through your technology and vice versa.
3. Have outside pursuits
Your career is an important part of your life. For many of us, our job and professional accomplishments are a source of pride. They often determine the goals we set for the future. However, it is important to recognize that your career should not be the only defining factor in who you are. When your identity is consumed by your career, it becomes very easy to lose perspective and tip the scales toward work in your work-life balance. So, go find something you love outside of work and make time to pursue developing that passion.
4. Have written goals
Goals. They help motivate us and keep us aligned with our focus. At some point in your career, you may have been wisely encouraged by a boss or mentor to write down your goals. The exercise of putting pen to paper and seeing your goals in print often helps you gain clarity and develop accountability. Few will argue with the benefits of setting goals, but many people often forget that the value of goal setting is not limited to your professional life. To take action and to create a work-life balance, we should always be developing a perpetual set of diverse goals for all aspects of our life. This helps push us to make contributions and accomplishments in more than just one area of life and leads us towards a healthy balance.