How do you find a sense of balance in both your personal and work life during a pandemic? Due to COVID-19, many employees now have to combine their home and work life under one roof.
Throw in other factors inclusive of cooking, caregiving, and homeschooling, and you’ve got a recipe for overwhelm. Many have found it difficult to navigate between these two spheres of their lives, falling into bad habits, from overeating to overworking.
COVID continues to impact the work-life balance of many underrepresented employees. There are no separate containers clearly marked work and home. Instead, as individuals, employees are left to draw their own dividing lines.
When there’s a task to be completed, you may have wondered—‘Should I try to be more productive during the workday to get everything done’ or ‘Should I work beyond 5pm and wrap this thing up?’
But here’s the bottom line, as an employee, being able to better navigate your personal life will have a positive impact on your work life.
Here’s two simple ways to find more equilibrium:
Prioritize Your Health
You can’t climb the corporate ladder with bad knees. There will always be a reason to be stressed out, but to whose expense?
Feeling balanced starts with you. Whether it’s talking things out with a therapist, exercising before work, or making a commitment to drink more water, by prioritizing one’s health and self-care you’ll feel more empowered to make other sound choices.
Choose to Do Less
Finding balance requires trimming off stressors and minimizing the viewpoint that everything in your life is equally important.
We live in a society that’s constantly connected. For you, doing less might look like disconnecting from social media on weekends in order to increase your free time. Or it might mean, choosing to put off a personal project for a couple of weeks.
Yet making firm choices that benefit you personally must also be paired with making firm decisions at work. But how do you create a better sense of balance at work?
Reinforce your boundaries
If there’s a blur between your personal and work life, it’s time to reinforce your boundaries.
Your company and coworkers aren’t going to do this for you. Instead of suffering through work fatigue thinking things will change, take control and speak up about what you need. Reaffirm the dividing line between work and home.
Maintaining professionalism by getting assigned tasks done and fulfilling your responsibilities at work will go a long way in easing any potential frustration your employer may have about your work routine outside the office.
You may be working remotely for months ahead. It’s important that you stay in a productive frame of mind while working. Think about how you can improve your actual productivity. Have you created a set office space? Do friends know what hours to not call your phone? Have guidelines been established with family members regarding disruptions during staff meetings?
Integration helps in creating more work-life balance.
Integrating, where feasible, some aspects of your personal life during work hours may look like reading or helping your child with her schoolwork while you’re eating lunch. Or even running to the grocery store. Why? Because it’s an hour saved after you’ve clocked off of work, allowing you some extra time for yourself.
There’s always an opportunity to advance your career, but you’re not going to spot it if you’re focused on what stresses you out. Figure out which of the above strategies works best in your life, but remember, when it comes to finding the right work-life balance, there isn’t one measuring stick.
In our podcast episode: Finding Your Zen: Pandemic Work Life Balance and Beyond, we share more concrete C-CRETS on managing life during COVID.