The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our personal and professional life balance tremendously especially since most professions have had to shift to working from home. With a deadly pandemic on the rise, mental health challenges have also significantly increased and without proper work and personal life balance, we are at greater risk of failure and disappointment.
There are effective ways of ensuring that your professional and personal lives are not negatively impacting one another. From eating well, exercising, to focusing on mental health and self-reflection, you can make massive improvements to your work and personal life balance.
1. Use Time Productively
Sometimes your mind and body may tempt you into taking part in unnecessary activities that limit the time and energy you need to work on more meaningful and important tasks. Simply scrolling through your social media can waste your time and you may not get a chance to reply to important emails, prepare work reports, finish crucial tasks, etc.
It is imperative to allow yourself work hours and off-time hours so you can dedicate all your time to work during office hours and concentrate on friends and family when you are finally off. Prioritize your time at work by assessing your daily tasks and activities and cut out the ones that are least productive.
If a task is due much later, do it after you have resolved the more urgent ones first. Minimize the time you spend scrolling through social media or flipping through TV channels. Instead, take breaks in intervals and hydrate yourself before heading back to work so you have ample time to spend with your loved ones at the end of the day.
2. It is Important to Say ‘No’ When the Moment Calls for it
One of the most challenging things to learn is saying ‘no’ to tasks, requests, or invitations. When you know your plate is full, acknowledge your work capacity and do not take on extra tasks just to please your superiors and managers with your performance. Do as much as you can during work hours and do it well.
Sometimes your friends and family may want to make plans with you but if they clash with your work hours, do not be afraid to say no when you just cannot make it. Be candid about your priorities and ask for a raincheck if possible.
Always evaluate your schedule and ensure that you have enough room to take on extra tasks or plan a fun time with friends and family. If you are trying to focus on your mental health and well-being, never hesitate to say no to your work or the people in your life so you can spend as much time as you need to better yourself mentally and physically.
3. Stretch Your Boundaries and Learn to Disconnect and Unplug
Workaholics or new employees may find it hard to establish their boundaries. This may result in high levels of stress, depression, and even feelings of loneliness and despair if you never learn how to switch off from work mode.
Human beings desire a good balance in all aspects of life and this rings true for your work and personal life as well. It can be excruciatingly hard to say no to your peers or supervisors at work, especially if you are new to the job, but once you allow people to think you are happy to take on extra work, they will most likely assign it to you without realizing its damaging effects on your mental and physical health.
Modern technology has made it possible for people to contact their teams, assess work related tasks, and remain connected through their phones and computers no matter where they are. This has increased work and personal life flexibility.
Despite its many advantages, most people still feel the constant need to reply to emails even after office hours. Some take their work home or continue working incessantly long after their shift is over. This can be damaging to your personal life.
Avoid taking your work home and establish boundaries from the very beginning so you know when it is time for your brain and body to switch from work mode to spending time with family and friends.
4. Track Your To-Do-List and Schedule
Set SMART goals for yourself. These are tasks or assignments that you wish to complete in a realistic amount of time. Instead of making monthly plans or following yearly goals, set for yourself daily targets that you would like to meet. This not only brings a sense of satisfaction but also encourages you to get the job done since it seems less daunting.
Revisit your To-Do-List for the day and scan through your schedule to check for leftover tasks for the day so you can find time to recharge and focus on yourself and your hobbies.
One great way of achieving this is by keeping a calendar on your desk or saving it on your phone where you can mark the tasks that are completed and those that are still pending. This will greatly assist you in tracking your work, so it does not extend to your personal time.