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It has been almost 4 months since the majority of us have been working from home and I don’t know about you, but there have been moments where it all felt a bit heavy. With so much uncertainty in the world and the constant anxiety-inducing news headlines, the world is a very different place to where it was last year with so much we can’t control.
One thing’s for certain, our essential workers continue their amazing work for our communities in caring for those who need it most and ensuring we continue to function. And it’s important we continue to play our part in maintaining social distancing to keep ourselves and others safe.
I’ve been working from home since March and at this stage, it looks like I’ll be stationed here until at least the end of August. For the first seven weeks of working from home, we had the kids at home with us. And those of you with young kids would know how much of an impossibility it is to work from home with young children around, which meant my husband and I would work late into the evening after the kids were in the bed. It was a huge drain on our energy. Things are much easier now that the kids have been back at school and day care and the elusive work life balance, something I’m always a few steps away from achieving, seems more important than ever.
Aside from keeping our mental health in check, striving to achieve a work/life balance ensures that we hone in on what’s important to us. When I initially wrote about the topic last year in this post, we didn’t have the weight of the world on our shoulders. So I thought I’d share the small things that I’ve been doing lately to try and work towards this goal.
Before getting stuck into my emails at my desk, the first thing I do when starting a work day is to write a comprehensive list of all the tasks that I want to achieve for the day. I categorise my list according to whether it’s work or home related and prioritise depending on urgency. It’s hugely satisfying to cross things off the list throughout the day.
The Morning Routine
Our kids are up by 7am so that’s when our day begins whether we like it or not! Maintaining a routine ensures the kids are dressed, fed and ready to head to school/daycare in a timely fashion. We typically leave home by around 8:30am to walk the kids to school and are back home to start our work day by 9am.
Finish Your Work Day
While I understand this may not be possible in all lines of work, if you can, you should end your work day at a decent hour. Given I work from a table in the lounge room, it’s particularly important for me to switch off my laptop for the day. For the first few months, I didn’t get into the habit of doing so and instead of relaxing on the couch with my husband watching TV, I could see new emails pop up and kept dipping in and out of work to respond to emails which meant that I couldn’t properly relax.
If you’re working at home with your partner, while you may be spending a lot of time with working alongside them during the day, it’s so important to ensure you have quality time as well.
Be Easy On Yourself
This was a particularly hard one to get into my head, but it’s really important during these times to be easy on yourself with everything. Things are different, and most importantly, temporary.
During the first few weeks of lockdown, I was a tad overwhelmed by all the productivity and fitness-related goals that a lot of people I followed on social media were setting for themselves. For me, it’s a good day if the kids are fed and showers were had! It was enough of a juggle keeping the kids entertained let alone trying to work and maintain a somewhat tidy house!
I certainly don’t have this down, but I’d love to hear of the things you’re doing to achieve as much of a work/life balance as possible.
As always, thanks again for stopping by and I hope you’re all staying sane.