Career Advice

Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance During COVID-198 min read

May 14, 2020 7 min read
improve work life balance during covid 19

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Ways To Improve Work-Life Balance During COVID-198 min read

Read­ing Time: 7 min­utes

The unprece­dent­ed times have brought all of us humans to adapt the work from home pol­i­cy. As coro­n­avirus spreads rapid­ly all across the globe, peo­ple are stay­ing inside to assure their safe­ty. This in return has brought the offices at home too. Things changed overnight, there­by also chang­ing the way of life. In fact, most of the peo­ple have nev­er even stayed at home for such long hours. 

Work-life bal­ance has become the most impor­tant facet that peo­ple are unable to obtain these days. Being at home at all hours of the day, and your office being inside the same four walls as your house. These fac­tors have made it near­ly impos­si­ble and dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate work life from per­son­al life. The inabil­i­ty to main­tain a work-life bal­ance has been an issue since many years. But with the ongo­ing pan­dem­ic, the prob­lem has increased fur­ther.

And it is impor­tant to find the bal­ance at this hour, giv­en that the sit­u­a­tion is uncer­tain and dif­fi­cult for the whole world. So how can one find a bal­ance between work and the day-to-day rou­tine of life amid the eco­nom­ic unbal­ance and a dan­ger to life pre­vail­ing all around?

How To Maintain A Work-Life Balance

Plan Your Activities For The Day

plan your day

Set a time as to when you would like to do what. Ana­lyz­ing and divid­ing the day into cer­tain activ­i­ties that you want to com­plete with­in the day can be an effec­tive way to main­tain bal­ance.

  • One option could be to set your work­ing hours the same as you would have dur­ing reg­u­lar office days. This will give you a prop­er rou­tine to work with­in the con­fined hours on a reg­u­lar basis.
  • Anoth­er option can be to divide your work­ing hours and per­son­al tasks even­ly through­out the day. 
  • Keep a track of time, not­ing down what work-relat­ed as well as per­son­al activ­i­ties would you want to pro­ceed with for one week. As a result, you will be able to eval­u­ate where you spent extra time and where you need to invest more time. Office­Timer and Tog­gl are some of the soft­wares that you can use to effec­tive­ly man­age your tasks and time.

Set Your Priorities

If you have your pri­or­i­ties set for both work as well as per­son­al life, a lot can be bal­anced and planned accord­ing­ly. A dis­ci­plined set of pri­or­i­ties makes it eas­i­er to have a bal­anced day. The only task is to eval­u­ate what should be your pri­or­i­ty and what not.

  • Ask your­self what is of utmost impor­tance and there­by decide where you lack. 
  • Start work­ing on things where you feel you lack.
  • Give less time to things that you feel like you are over­do­ing so that you can achieve a state of bal­ance.
  • If a pri­or­i­ty task is not yield­ing the desired results, try dif­fer­ent meth­ods of approach­ing it.

Maintain Boundaries

It is very impor­tant to be hon­est to your­self and set real­is­tic lim­its for work as well as per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ties. If you set unachiev­able goals, you will drown deep down in the pend­ing work, with­out even real­iz­ing. This will result in your work fol­low­ing you 24/7. 

  • Final­ize your work lim­its by dis­cussing your tar­gets with your super­vi­sor, col­leagues or team mates. 
  • Set time lim­its and work only in the pre-decid­ed time brack­et, until and unless a work emer­gency calls in.
  • When done with office hours, make it a point to not rush back to revert to your work emails or mes­sages, unless impor­tant­ly need­ed.

Make Time For Health

The impor­tance of tak­ing care of your health can­not be empha­sized enough. Espe­cial­ly now when we are all sur­round­ed by a dan­ger to our health, it is vital to take care of our­selves. More­over, if you are not in a good state phys­i­cal­ly, it will affect your work as well as peace of mind and you will not be able to give your best.

  • Main­tain a prop­er sleep sched­ule and fol­low a reg­u­lar sleep pat­tern.
  • Exer­cise at least 3 times per week. 24HourFitness and Born­Fit­ness are some of the sites where you can find per­son­al train­ers, yoga instruc­tors as well as diet plans to keep your­self fit.
  • If you work out reg­u­lar­ly and sleep well, you will be able to increase your pro­duc­tiv­i­ty lev­els as well. 

You can also read about 11 Healthy After Work Habits To Try Instead Of Sit­ting On The Couch All Night

Have A Designated Workspace

The absence of an office premise can ham­per your abil­i­ty to work whole-heart­ed­ly and in all seri­ous­ness. So it is impor­tant to have a sep­a­rate work­space, away from the com­fort of your couch or bed. 

  • If you have a dis­tinct work­space, it will give you an idea of respon­si­bil­i­ty and work seri­ous­ness, ded­i­cat­ing the pre­scribed time to your work alone.
  • Make it a point to sit alone while work­ing, with­out your con­cen­tra­tion being ham­pered by your fam­i­ly mem­bers. Dis­trac­tion is an ene­my of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.
  • All fam­i­ly mem­bers must decide amongst them­selves to respect each oth­er’s time and space while work­ing.
  • Ditch all the dis­trac­tions by build­ing a seclud­ed work­space. You can refer to the video Work­ing from Home: How to Set Up Your Work­space to get an idea about how to cre­ate a work­space of your own. 

Communicate Effectively

communicate effectively

Since more than half of the world is work­ing from home amid Covid-19, com­pa­nies are try­ing hard­er and hard­er to meet ends and make work from home as effec­tive as pos­si­ble. Team mates do not meet every day to dis­cuss the tasks and results. Every­one is depen­dent on tech­nol­o­gy and that is why com­mu­ni­ca­tion can some­times be dis­turbed.

  • While work­ing from home, com­pa­nies can make use of var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ca­tion soft­ware or tools to make sure that the employ­ees of the com­pa­ny can com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly. Tag­g­box and Work­place are tools which help in easy com­mu­ni­ca­tion for com­pa­nies work­ing remote­ly. 
  • Video con­fer­ences should also be held time-to-time to main­tain a sense of work­ing along with a team. This way you can also make out how a col­league is cop­ing with the work and if there is any bar­ri­er.

Implement The Balance

Week­ends def­i­nite­ly mean that work should not fol­low you for the days you get off. Treat the week­ends dif­fer­ent from how you treat the rest of the days of the week. And when your time is up for the day on week­days, learn to switch off the work on time. When you had a reg­u­lar office, you used to trav­el back home from the office at a fixed time. Make the same habit while work­ing from home as well. If you do not cre­ate the gap between pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al life, both sides of your life will be affect­ed.

  • Decide upon a spe­cif­ic time and get off from the screen by that time. Dis­cuss with your col­leagues and team mates about the time­line and coor­di­nate accord­ing­ly.
  • Social­ize on calls or texts after your work is over. These are dif­fi­cult times when peo­ple can­not step out of their house and are stay­ing inside to main­tain safe­ty. So con­nect vir­tu­al­ly with your fam­i­ly and friends.
  • Plan your evenings dis­tinct­ly on some days. Because if you will have some­thing to look for­ward to after work, you will def­i­nite­ly switch off from work on time. 

It was def­i­nite­ly eas­i­er to unplug and end your work­ing day in an office before Covid-19. If noth­ing else, peo­ple would look for­ward to going home. But since almost all employ­ees are work­ing from home, main­tain­ing the cut off seems dif­fi­cult. More­over, there are no plans to be made for an out­ing either. The only safe place is inside the walls of your own house. Employ­ees there­fore find no com­pelling rea­son to shut off their lap­tops and end up work­ing all through the day. 

It has become impor­tant for peo­ple to learn that they are not sup­posed to sway away with work. Oth­er­wise, peo­ple will hurt them­selves indef­i­nite­ly phys­i­cal­ly as well as men­tal­ly. The pan­dem­ic has tak­en a lot of our brain’s space already. If you hoard work over it, you may be play­ing with your men­tal peace. 

You can refer to 30 Fun Things to Do at Home to get some cre­ative ideas as well. 

Make Smarter Decisions

It can cer­tain­ly be pos­si­ble that when employ­ees feel over­bur­dened with work, it is because of their own ways of work­ing. With­out a prop­er and effi­cient work plan and strat­e­gy, the pres­sure of com­plet­ing the tasks can be your own cre­ation and not some­thing ini­ti­at­ed by the employ­er. 

The main aim while work­ing from home should be to work smart­ly and more effi­cient­ly. The key is to not work for longer hours indef­i­nite­ly, but to work smart­ly. If we all adopt the right com­bi­na­tion of time and man­age­ment, there will be a lot less to stress about. A sense of dis­ci­pline and struc­ture can take you a long way.

And if you tread on the path of bal­ance, you will be able to make a pos­i­tive impact in all aspects. Health and qual­i­ty-life ben­e­fits are just a few to name. You only need to take con­trol over your work. When you suc­cess­ful­ly prac­tice a bal­ance rou­tine, you will be able to enhance your orga­ni­za­tion­al per­for­mance as well as pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. 

More­over, work­ers who are suc­cess­ful in attain­ing a work-life bal­ance work smarter and hard­er than oth­er employ­ees who tend to feel over­worked due to an inabil­i­ty to main­tain the bal­ance. So if you still have not been able to find your work-life bal­ance since this pan­dem­ic start­ed, now is the time to start work­ing on it. Set some bound­aries and stick to them. They will not only ben­e­fit you but also your work pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

Sumedha is a Post Graduate in English. She has the penchant for creating a variety of content that is attention grabbing.