We all can relate to the struggle of keeping our work and personal life separate. Dedicating time and energy in one domain can easily topple over into the other unintentionally. Mastery of this balancing act is almost never complete, since its dynamic, there are minor adaptations, and the scale changes. Whenever this happens, we all feel those shifts and the stress and mental health effects of readjusting or getting it wrong.
Even during a routine work week, maintaining a work-life balance is challenging. Add the unexpected transition to remote work or working-from-home (WFH) during the current lockdown scenario and work stress invades the most personal space: your home. We’re sharing some healthy habits from freelancers and remote working members of Factory Berlin’s community about their balancing act.
1. Become a creature of habit and bookend your day.
When you get up, get ready for work. Do not wear your pajamas, not the top, nor the bottom, and try to wear a different set of shoes rather than house slippers. Physically changing can help prepare your mindset for work and help you conquer your workday. By the same token, it’s always nice to have after-work plans. For some people it’s working out at home, watching a movie, playing an instrument, online gaming, or attending a virtual club and DJ hangout. But, if you’re stuck at the computer all day, try to get away from a screen.
Do not disturb.
Set your online communication notifications to your online and offline hours. During the day, turn off your non-essential social media channels and consider even deleting or disabling your most frequented social media chats from your personal phone. In the evenings, do the same for all of your online work communication tools.
3. Be more productive by taking advantage of your personal space.
Whether you’re making yourself a gourmet lunch or a slow-cooked dinner, use your break time to run a personal errand or a session of yoga. It’s an opportune time to do what you normally wouldn’t be able to enjoy in an office space.
4. Use your home office or workspace only for work.
Defining boundaries and areas of your home or apartment for when you are “at work” and “off work” help you get into beast mode faster and are also a signal to others living with you (like spouses, partners, or children) that you mean business. Sitting at your laptop in bed is a real no-no.
5. Accept that there will be distractions, just like there are in the office.
And, just like the office, using noise-canceling headphones or earplugs is a safe bet for concentration and pure focus.
6. Get more rest.
Without a daily commute, you finally have more time to catch up on sleep which will make you feel more productive and aware.