With everyone working from home, keeping our lives in balance, including our physical, spiritual and psychological well-being, can sometimes be difficult. Keeping your home based work environment in proper context is critical to total well-being.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article published in the Journal Report on March 30, 2020, Alexandra Samuel, a technical researcher, shares some of her secrets to help achieve balance while working from home.
First, she suggests letting go of the eight-hour day. Your time alone can often be more constructive without interruptions, therefore a four- or five-hour stretch may be enough to accomplish what would have taken more than eight hours in the office. And she doesn’t get hung up on the clock. If you work best after 5 p.m., start your workday later and end when you finish your project.
Next, she recommends selecting three things to accomplish each day. Without the structure of the workplace, it’s essential to have a new way to evaluate your day. She suggests jotting down the day’s three priorities and sharing them with colleagues. At the end of the day, sharing your accomplishments with workmates creates a sense of community and support for your efforts.
Like all of us, Alexandra experiences days when she wakes up really worried or just can’t focus. Rather than stressing, she shifts her focus to a personal task such as finishing a book, taking on a craft project or cooking something new and exciting from the freezer. These types of personal activities can often clear the mind and help you get back “online.”
She emphasizes the importance of taking time to reconnect. Set up a time to simply call friends or coworkers (or FaceTime, Zoom, Google Chat — whichever tool you prefer) to see how they are doing. Ask how they are staying entertained and busy while at home. Connecting this way can reap huge business dividends, but perhaps more importantly, you will feel more connected, and consequently, more productive.
And lastly, since working from home means your social interaction is nonexistent, it can be helpful to create a mechanism for reengaging with others. Alexandra finds it helpful to set up standing dates with colleagues or personal friends. It can be as simple as a recurring morning check-in call with a coworker or a walk with a friend, neighbor or family member (using social distancing guidelines).
These are just a few of the tips shared in Alexandra Samuel’s article, and you’ll find several others as well. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance while working remotely is a skill and will likely take some practice, but it’s well worth the effort. Who knows, you may end up choosing to work from home permanently.
Stay safe and well,