Working from home may have seemed like the dream situation for many people; however, that was probably before they were forced into it with no end in sight. Now, it seems that the lines between work and leisure are starting to blur. Thanks to social distancing, creating a healthy work-life balance has become even more challenging and has many of us feeling like it’s harder to actually take a break on the weekends.
But reclaiming some balance to your days and weeks isn’t just good for your mental health—it’s good for your productivity, too.
Here are four tips that are sure to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, even when it feels like you haven’t left your house (and office) in months.
Play Dress Up
Dress for work. No, I don’t mean you should throw on 10 pounds of makeup, a pink boa and your fanciest outfit. But it’s important to use the wardrobe you have to differentiate between “work days” and “off days.” Don’t just throw on a new pair of pajamas when you roll out of bed. Instead, create a manageable morning routine that fits your new normal. Dulling down the hair gel and face makeup is a benefit of virtual work meetings, but don’t abandon all your old habits. Freshening up in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your day!
Move Your Body
Don’t get stuck in the work-from-home hamster wheel of waking up and logging on to work or checking emails right away. I’m aware that this is easier said than done. It’s key to hold yourself accountable to at least 30 minutes of movement each day. This can be anything from walking or running to yoga, Pilates and/or weight-lifting. Getting in some movement in the mornings before work can give you that extra jolt of energy that coffee just isn’t providing.
Prioritize What Matters
In order to create work-life balance, you need to figure out what’s most important to you—and then prioritize those things. Utilize quarantine as a time to write down your goals, both short-term and long-term. Then figure out the best plan of action for achieving these goals, but be realistic with your approach. When you have time to focus on the things that matter most to you, you’ll be more motivated and productive and happier overall.
Block Out the Noise
“There’s an app for that” has never been truer. We’re constantly connected to the world around us through social media, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming. Even though social distancing can have you feeling disconnected, it’s crucial to put your phone down every so often. Turn off notifications for unimportant apps that only distract you during the day. You can also try using the “do not disturb” feature on your phone to your advantage. This is something I have on all the time. My phone is on “bedtime” at night and almost always on silent mode, and notifications for all my apps are turned off. This helps me avoid constantly looking at my phone every two seconds. Pro tip: If you’re serious about unplugging, delete apps like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest during the workweek to curb the urge to mindlessly scroll.
The steps to achieving work-life balance will look different for everyone. However, the end goal tends to look the same—to create an atmosphere that leaves you feeling productive but also refreshed, giving structure to your day!