Holly · 7 minute read

Holly
7 minute read

When your work life and personal life are suddenly under the same roof, the line between ‘work’ and ‘life’ seems to become much more blurry. The Covid-19 pandemic has completely obliterated the regular 9-5 routine for us all and our work/life balance is more lopsided than ever before. Working from home presents new challenges for your mental and physical health, so getting into a solid work-from-home routine can make all the difference in maintaining work/life balance.

Have a designated work area

Choosing a separate room with natural sunlight and fresh air is always a good starting point in maintaining work/life balance – away from family, friends, pets and other distractions. If you don’t have a separate room for you to escape to, some noise cancelling headphones can also do the trick. Check out the best one’s here. At the end of the day, close your laptop and tidy up the space. Work related items infiltrating the rest of your home will constantly be reminding you of your to-do list and won’t allow you to fully switch off. It’s also worth investing in a good chair and desk setup. Here’s our top tips for the best work from home office setup.

Stay on task

Having the world wide web at your fingertips is a blessing and a curse. One minute you’re powering through your to-do list and the next you’re filling out a “What type of bread roll am I?” quiz. But finding out that you’re more of a focaccia isn’t going to help your work/life balance too much. Consider installing an app such as Freedom, which prevents you from accessing irrelevant or distracting apps and websites, no matter if you’re using a computer, tablet or phone. Stay on task during the day, finish on time and the rest of the day is yours guilt free – you’ll feel much better clocking off knowing you’ve used your day to its fullest potential.

Set deadlines for logging on and off for the day

It doesn’t take people long to fall into the habit of writing one quick email outside of work hours – which ends up spiraling into a night long session. Working those few hours here and there might leave you with the impression that you’re getting more work done, but ultimately your productivity decreases both in the short and long term and your work/life balance ends up totally out of whack. Set yourself a strict start and end time and stick to it! Also try tweaking each app’s notifications settings – You can completely mute them after a certain time or pick what you want to get notified about, such as emails from a certain contact or messages from a specific Slack channel.

Use your lunch break effectively

Taking a break from your screen when lunch rolls around doesn’t mean the productivity stops! One of the easiest ways to achieve work/life balance when working from home is to block off some time in your calendar (and commit to it)! Firstly, eat a nice, healthy meal – after all, it is lunch time. But it’s also a good time to squeeze in a workout, put a load of laundry on, read a book, meditate or maybe all of the above.

Workout

Renowned English poet Alexander Pope said “Strength of mind is exercise, not rest” – and he’s not wrong. Exercise brings remarkable change not only to your body, but also to your mind and spirit. Take the energy you spend stressing about work and focus it on your form or reps. The Nike Training Club app is available on iOS and Android and has over 190 workouts for you to choose from, ranging from 15-45 minutes. Acknowledging the importance of your physical health and making exercise a ‘must-do’ instead of a ‘should-do’ will go a long way to helping you achieve a healthy work/life balance when working from home.

Have an Off-Screen Hobby

After a long, hard day looking at a screen, it’s really not a great idea to back it up with a 5 hour Netflix marathon to “wind down”. Painting, puzzles, drawing, gardening, cooking – the possibilities are endless! A hobby you’re passionate about brings joy and enriches your life, and is a valuable part of your personal and professional development. Plus you get the added bonus of another skill learnt!

It’s important to accept that there is no ‘perfect’ work/life balance, particularly whilst working from home during a global pandemic. With the help of these top 6 tips, you can however strive to achieve a ‘realistic’ work/life balance. Stay sane and keep safe!

Holly

If you have any follow up questions or want to discuss this post please contact Holly here.
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