Do you quickly find the lines blurring between work and life at home? Perhaps your dining room table setup is making it hard to end work on time. Maybe feeding the baby or helping your first AND second graders with homework has replaced your usual 9:00 am meetings. Or, the motivation, engagement and positivity you had the first week is fading away.
In my last blog post, we covered 5 tips to help you transition from the office to now working from home. Below are 3 quick tips to help you now find balance with work-from-home + everyday life:
1. Make a list of everyday priorities + challenges: You have a “new norm” now. Before you move forward with anything else at home, take a step back and write down the everyday priorities you now have to juggle. For example, one of your former daily priorities would have been dropping the kids off at daycare. With daycare now being closed, the new everyday priority is to fix them breakfast, get them setup to start the day at home, and don’t forget those naps, playtime and meals there-forward! Before, you had an office at work. Now, a challenge may be working in a close space at home, leaving you open for more distractions.
After writing down your list that includes new priorities + current challenges, write down your game plan for how you will incorporate your new priorities and how you will address/overcome your challenges. Taking 30-60 min to do this will prevent a lot of stress going forward, and will help you be more proactive vs reactive while working from home!
2. Use your calendar for time management: Understanding that your schedule may flex a bit throughout the day, the best way you can set yourself up for a productive and less stressful day is by utilizing your Outlook (or whatever program you use) reminders and calendar invites to keep you regimented and on task. Hold yourself to this schedule, unless it is necessary to switch gears.
Having gone through the above step #1 to outline your new priorities (including personal priorities), you can integrate those onto your calendar as well. This will allow you to free up your mental space – knowing those priorities are all accounted and planned for in your calendar!
3. Define your work hours and stick to them: When your work space is located within your living space, it is very easy to begin work earlier than normal and end work later than you would if you were at the office. In the same token, some can struggle with motivation to begin work and remain consistent throughout the day – causing them to start work later and end work earlier than if they had to go to the office. Creating standard start/end hours, you are mentally connecting and committing to your work day. Mindset is half the battle!
The above 3 tips will help you begin building work-from-home + life balance. As you strive to create this new work/lifestyle, don’t forget the importance of your mental and physical health – ensuring you are making time for what you need in those areas as well, such as exercise, meal planning and perhaps a morning and/or evening meditation!
With several years experience working from home, I understand there can be certain struggles – even more so now given current circumstances with the Coronavirus. But, with intentional reflection and adapting, things will get easier and more manageable! Enjoy the process of rediscovering your strengths and skills.
Remember what is in your control. Give yourself grace. Acknowledge the challenge and focus on the opportunity!
You got this. Let’s make it happen!