After having to work remotely for many months now, finding a healthy work-life balance can seem difficult. And for the parents out there who are in the swing of the back-to-school season and thinking about how to manage your kids’ remote learning, a healthy work-life balance can seem downright impossible.
But that doesn’t make it any less vital – to decrease stress, to avoid burnout, to strengthen mental and physical health, and so much more.
So, Career Edge’s very own staff are offering their own tried and true tips and techniques to those who are finding it a challenge keeping a healthy work-life balance right now.
“I make sure to also take a break from electronics each day and to meditate. I tell my son that it is important that he does this too.
Technology makes us available for work around the clock and it’s very tempting for me to work through the night, but I try my best to disconnect from work when the day is done and best way to do that is to put down the electronics.
So, I implement less screen time for my time. He doesn’t like it, but he’s addicted to his electronic and this is critical for his mental health and an equal balance between school and home life.”
“I have dedicated a small space in my room for work and I do three things to prepare my desk for work at the start of the day: I make coffee, I take out my notebook, and I review my to do list. And at the end of the day, I also do three things: I put away my notebook, I update my to do list, and I make tea. These mental tricks help me separate work from home and give clear starts and ends for my workday.”
“I set a schedule for work and break time, but I also stay flexible when it comes to my lunch time so that I can have lunch and quality time with my family. Also, working from home can be more distracting than working from the office, so I work in a space that is distinct from the rest of my home. Finally, during work hours and break times, I try to take a walk or stand outside and stretch for five minutes.”
“Schedule vacation time off even if it is just to unwind at home and disconnect from work for a day or a few hours. Be flexible with your workday and integrate your life as best as possible; you do not have to work your full quota of time for the day all at once if your life and personal responsibilities demand differently and your work requirements allow for it. Find the right balance for you and your responsibilities at work and home.
Also, something random, but I learnt this from my seven-year-old goddaughter, while at home you can take virtual tours and trips to museums, etc. Each week during their summer camp they went on virtual field trips as a group.”
“Do not schedule back to back to back video calls. Give yourself a break between video calls. It can be difficult to stay ‘switched on’. Limit how many you do in a day.
Also, time block your calendar – it is tough to stay focused on the task at hand at the best of times, let alone with kids who want your attention, a dog who wants to play, a partner who wants to engage with you on something or a simple distraction. Block specific and uninterrupted time to complete important tasks/projects. Close all social media, turn your cell to silent, focus on the task and get it done. It will feel great when it is completed.”
“To maintain a healthy work-life balance, especially in relation to work, I try my best to prioritize the breaks I’m entitled to. Often times, if I find myself busy or focused on completing a task, I’ll tend to work through my breaks. I’ve learned, however, to try and unwind and take some time for myself on my breaks instead.
I really liked stepping out of the office during my lunch breaks, and currently try to do the same working from home. Most importantly, when I’m finished working, I completely detach from work, transition to post-work life, and take on activities I enjoy.”
“Admittedly, I am not the best with work-life balance. I find myself unconsciously opening up my outlook app on my phone to check emails after work hours and even on weekends all the time. However, in the last few months, I’ve tried to be more mindful of my time and incorporate more hobbies into my life so that I don’t think of work when I shouldn’t be.
One of the blessings of working from home for me, has been the fact that I no longer have to commute to and from work. This has saved a lot of time and money and I am trying to be better at making the most out of it.
If anyone else is struggling with finding work-life balance, I encourage you to find hobbies that excite you or keep an agenda that breaks down your day hour by hour so that you can hold yourself accountable.”
“With the pandemic driving us even further, I have found that making an effort to spend time outdoors on weekends or even if it’s to hotspot my laptop and work in a park during the week has made me feel much better about my work-life balance (WLB) than in previous years. It’s also just easier to do when you are not going to an office.
While this routine has helped me clear my head and stay connected to a smaller bubble of friends than I’m used to, I know that it’s largely attached to the summer season in Toronto. So yes, I’m afraid… I’m afraid of going back to March 2020, when the sun set early, patios were not feasible, and weekly Zoom trivia nights were the only way you stayed connected with people. The good news is that unlike March 2020, I now have nearly 6 months of experience under my belt, and know what to focus on, and what to avoid.
Essentially what I like to do is take the time I would spend in my commute (45 minutes in the morning, 45 in the evening) and spend that doing something relaxing, rewarding, or productive. I try really hard not to take the extra time saved and fill it with work. Hint: it’s a WLB trap!”
“During this pandemic, it has definitely been harder to maintain a work-life balance given the fact that I am working from home. Some things that I have been doing to maintain a healthy balance includes; setting up a routine for my workday and things to do after work, having conversations with my colleagues through calls/text to stay connected, going for a little walk outside, having lunch with my family members. I have also set rules for myself that I will sign of after my 7.5 hours of work a day and to not check/reply my emails after that time and on weekends as well.”