It has been a little over 8 months and we’ve seen and done things we’d never imagine! From stockpiling toilet paper, hand sanitizer, fighting over face mask, to working from the couch. Although the frenzy of stockpiling has subsided, we continue to work from home. This transition has been unfamiliar, but it has become our new normal. Everyone fortunate enough to remain employed (as some companies had to shut down offices or undergo major retrenchment) had to instantaneously adapt to the new routine. It was a process of learning-on-the-go as we were figuring things out, like the resources and tools needed to work from home, while work itself had to continue as usual, without any interference.
Furthermore, what has been of utmost importance is finding a work-life balance. We now have to make sure that we have enough time to focus on all things that matter to us, which include career, family, overall health, intellectual stimulation, community work, cultivating hobbies, as well as taking sufficient rest.
Here are five ideas to achieve work-life balance:
1. Be realistic about work-life balance
In a perfect world, you would wake up, get ready for the day’s work, sit in your home office, and once work is completed, shut down your devices, and start preparing dinner. However, this is not reality. There are days other work might require your attention – impromptu trips, family requirements, community work, etc. Because family comes first, you might have to reschedule work. Hence, it is best to have a realistic approach and not strive for a ‘perfect’ work-life balance, and unnecessarily put pressure on yourself.
2. Track time to manage it better
To better understand how you are spending time, keep a time log or tracker. Start maintaining it for a week, then gradually move to a monthly time tracker. This will help you organize office work as well as activities at home much better. You will be able to analyze how much time you are spending on which activity and plan and manage your work accordingly.
3. Make time for yourself
In this era of a pandemic, the news has not been very positive and encouraging. With infections soaring alarmingly high and death rates not slowing down, there is a growing sense of sadness leading to continued fear and depression. In such disturbing circumstances, one must dedicate time to oneself. Whether it is watching a TV show, cooking/baking, or meditating, as long as you’re doing something you enjoy and dedicated time to yourself, it is great. Because it relaxes your mind and takes it off from the depressing news floating all around.
4. Try to finish office-work in time
It is easy to get drowned in work, especially while working from home one loses track of time. This eliminates whatever distinction one has between work and life, which is unhealthy. It is vital to have a mental switch to transition from work to home environment. This can be achieved with the assistance of a transitional activity, like music, a book, a TV program, an alarm, or anything that helps one relax. We, here at ITC Infotech, have an attendance schedule in our Infotalk app, which prompts a reminder to end work, so we are aware that it is time to wrap up for the day. Although at times, we tend to go overboard, it still is a reminder that it is time to stop work for the day. This is an important feature to have in an employee-centric app.
Admittedly, these are unprecedented times. With everyone navigating this new normal, it can at times get overwhelming. In such situations, it is advisable to communicate with your manager openly, so you both can find ways to manage the workload because the last thing anyone needs is a stressed and burnt-out employee. And in an instance of personal stress, it is best to find a professional to discuss your issues with or talk to someone trustworthy.
To conclude, I would say that work-life balance is not rocket science; it is not difficult to achieve if one is determined. Furthermore, one must not get exhausted in trying to make too many changes in their life, all at once. Let us take one step at a time towards achieving a work-life balance. As the famous Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”