If maintaining a work-life balance wasn’t difficult enough, along came a pandemic that meant many of us were banished to our houses 24/7. Sure, that comes with perks, like an extra half-hour in bed instead of a commute – but it can also make it harder to switch off.
If you’ve found your balance has been particularly off-kilter these last few months, here’s a few ways to help restore it.
Stop checking your emails outside of work hours
We know, it may sound unthinkable, but it could be time to stop checking your emails once you’re off the clock. Constantly refreshing your inbox makes it harder to maintain the boundaries between your work and home life – particularly if you’re currently working from home, where the boundaries are blurred as it is.
If the thought of avoiding your emails after hours is too much to handle, why not outsource your inbox? That way, you can rest easy knowing that nothing is going to slip under the radar
Step away from your desk
Working in an office can be a sedentary job at the best of times, but if you’re working from home, you’ll probably find that some days the furthest you’ll walk is to the fridge and back. Exercise is great for reducing stress and boosting your mood, but it can be tricky to find the time (or motivation) to get moving.
Start trying to incorporate some more movement into your routine, whether it’s squeezing in a quick walk around the block between meetings or a quick yoga session in your lunch hour – your body and mind will thank you!
Get better at managing your time
Always feeling like there are never enough hours in the day? Maybe you’re overscheduling yourself. It’s not easy to say ‘no’, but overcommitment will usually lead to stress and burnout – and no-one is productive when they’re burnt out. It’s time to work smarter, not harder.
Thankfully, there are loads of ways you can improve your time management skills. Creating a to-do list at the start of each day is an absolute must to make sure you’re getting through your most pressing tasks and allows you to prioritise.
A diary management service can also ensure that you’re not overbooking your time and allows you to stay on top of your commitments. And whilst we’re on the subject…
Keep to a routine
If your bedroom is now your boardroom, it can be harder to stick to a defined working day, as you might find yourself dipping in and out of work 24/7. You don’t necessarily need to stick to a rigid 9-5 working day, but it’s important to give yourself structure.
Pretend your commute isn’t just the five seconds it takes to get from your bed to your desk and get up a little earlier to give yourself time to ease into the day or adjust your schedule to start working once your kids start their schoolwork. Once you find what works, stick to it.
Give yourself a break
You’re not a machine. You can’t work non-stop without it taking a toll – so give yourself a break. Keep your weekends as time to rest and recuperate, spend time with your family or keep up with whatever weird and wonderful hobbies you picked up during lockdown.
It’s easy to neglect your own wellbeing when you spend so much time focusing on work, but for your own sake, make sure to have time for yourself – even if that means using your annual leave to just lie in front of the TV for a few days.
How SmartPA can support
Delegating your to-do list to a virtual assistant is a great way to free up your time, allowing you to hand over your administrative tasks to an experienced PA.