If you’re anything like me, finding a work-life balance during COVID-19 has been a whole new beast. You work from home, finish up your day, then you go…. well probably not too far.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have been working from home for over two years now. However, the current COVID-19 restrictions have put a whole new meaning to that.
Here are four ways I try to keep the balance:
Have a routine – Every morning I wake up at the same time, feed and let my dogs out, and start the workday. Also, make time for lunch, or in my case gym time (this might be a workout at home) to help clear the mind mid-day. This might seem like a simple thing, but when you’re working from home, it’s important to be able to stick to a routine.
Take breaks – In a regular 9-5 there are breaks that are, in most cases, mandatory. These should not go away just because your office location has changed. It’s important to take a little time during the workday to stand up, move around, and maybe take a 10-minute walk. I’ve found that this helps me to refocus and re-energize to get me through the day.
Set a stop time – Actually end your workday. If you’re newer to working from home (like many are right now) this might seem crazy, but yes, it’s important. I try to set a time of 5pm to turn off my work and step away. Does this always happen? Of course not, but having a set time helps me separate work from the rest of life.
Do something to tell your body that work is over – So, this is where I have had to alter my routine since the beginning of the pandemic, that I didn’t find necessary before. These days you can’t easily run to the store for fun or go out for happy hour with some friends. For me, I always try to take my dogs on a longer walk after I’ve finished my workday, and then I read on the balcony. Since COVID-19 I’ve realized there is apparently a limit to how much binge-watching you can do… and I think I’ve hit it. With that, I’ve been trying to add in little things that change up my day and enjoy some things that I normally “wouldn’t have time for”.
This is how I’ve been able to keep a “normal” balance between work and my outside life during COVID that has helped me stay on task. I’d love for you to share your experiences and suggestions. You can reach me at email@example.com.