With the threat of the COVID pandemic, a lot of us have found ourselves in a rather unusual life-work situation.
As we adapt to new working arrangements, we also need to find new ways to balance work, family and everyday routine.
With little opportunity to leave the house and do things that not long ago were part of our normal routine, finding a way to work at home while taking care of children and handling house chores can turn out to be quite a challenge. It’s true that for some occupations, the office-to-home transition may be easier. However, even if you hold one of the top jobs for remote work, adapting to the new environment can take quite a bit of effort.
Managing all of these responsibilities at once and from home can be a big drain on one’s physical and emotional resources. Thus, it is more important than ever to have the right time management strategies in place.
Use Digital Tools
Luckily, these days, even if you don’t have the budget to hire a remote personal assistant, you can find lots of helpful and cost-effective tools online that can help you organize your time better.
Time tracking apps and productivity boosting apps and browser extensions are probably the first thing that comes to mind — and they can become an indispensable tool in your daily life once you incorporate them into your routine. Some apps work on an individual level and help you improve focus and concentration when working on professional assignments at home. Others have been designed as automated reporting and monitoring tools for managing a team or a project when working at a distance. Having the right digital assistance at your disposal can take off a lot of the planning and worrying off your hands — and, thus, make you more efficient and satisfied at work.
Detach Yourself from Work Once You’re Done
When we go out to work, we have a clearer line between work and life after work. When we stay at home, this line may get blurry and you may find yourself “at work” all throughout the day. To balance things out, it’s generally advised to find a way to detach from office hours after you are done with work and take the time for yourself, your family and friends. Disconnecting will improve your wellbeing. Thus, it is more important than ever to make sure that you don’t take your working projects to bed and give yourself the time to recuperate and unwind even when working remotely.
Take up a New Hobby
While picking up a new activity may seem counterproductive to staying efficient at work, it may prove to be greatly beneficial. Selecting an activity that requires a different skill set from the one you need at work can help you relax and detach from your assignments. This is especially true when the scope of your usual activities (like going to the gym or attending a class) has been disrupted. Working out at home, dabbing into some arts and crafts or simply reading a book can all be a great way to destress and take your mind off work.
Find Out When You Are Most Productive
Just like most living things in nature, we function in cycles — and these cycles affect how productive (or nor) we are at different times throughout the day. You may feel that the more you work, the more you get done. However, working fewer hours but at the right time may translate into a much more effective working day. It’s generally recommended to address your most focused, demanding and creative projects for your peak energy times and leave more routine and less difficult tasks for when you are feeling less energetic. In order to find the times when you can be most efficient, you simply need to be more observant of how you feel throughout the day and maybe even take notes to help you find your best working hours.
Above, we have listed just a few strategies that can help you create a sustainable balance between work, family and life in this changing environment. We hope these tips will help you navigate the daily challenges with a healthier mind and body.