Welcome to the “New Normal”
All these years we have been battling with and complaining about balancing our work with our life and here we are, when the universe itself has gifted us a beautiful opportunity to bring “Balance” back into our lives. No more complaints of early morning rush to catch a transport to reach office or client, no more wrestling with never-ending traffic and no more loading of “weekends” with a “to do list”.
Experts warn that balance means 50/50, which is neither realistic nor wanted or in other words that balance is impossible to maintain and sustain, making it unreasonable to approach work and life in this context. Hence, we need to equip ourselves to see how we can “Integrate” work with life and remain as productive or may be more whilst we learn and adapt to “Work from Home” (WFH).
I am happy to share certain productivity hacks on how to work from home and stay productive whilst making the most out of your time and your family. Working from home can be more productive if you know how to organize yourself effectively. So here we go:-
# Self Discipline – Get Dressed
Most crucial aspect determining your productivity in WFH is Self Discipline. Have a routine and stick to it. You don’t need to dress as formally as you might for work, but the simple act of changing clothes serves as a signal for your mind that it’s time to get things done. Don’t underestimate the power of putting on clothes suitable for public viewing. It makes you feel confident and helps draw the line between being at work and being at home. Video calls with clients, colleagues and vendors are a part of our work life now and we must look presentable.
# Designate a work space in your home
If you’re used to going into an office each day, the separation between work and home is physical, and you want to try to recreate that as much as possible with a designated physical workspace at home. You may explore the idea of a separate room for a home office if availability of space allows so, else you may designate a corner, but it should feel as “separate” from the rest of your home as possible. Try to make your workspace comfortable with a table and chair wherein you can sit for eight hours a day and a few decorations. Finding an area with good natural light if at all possible shall be a bonus. Entry to and exit from this workspace will help you to turn “on” and turn “off” your mind thereby switching from work to family life.
# Keep clearly defined working hours
Just as you designate and separate your physical workspace, you should be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll get your best work done and be most ready to transition back to the office if you stick with your regular hours. If you feel yourself extending your work hours because you aren’t doing anything in the evening… tell yourself it’s time to put work away, recharge, and start tomorrow with a fresh mind. The work will be there in the morning. If you live with other people/family, this separation is even more critical. Communicate with the people you live with to establish boundaries so you can cut down on distractions during the workday—and then disconnect and give the people you care about your full attention. Having a separate time and space to work will allow you to be more present in your home life.
# Participative Scheduling
It’s difficult yet very important. Engage in conversation with all family members and let everyone list out their priorities and work out a daily schedule which balances the priorities of all members. So if you have kids and spouse and senior citizens all together, then everyone needs to understand the nuances of work from home and everyone needs to cooperate to make this system work. If you are a single parent then you need to work out your schedule in consultation with your child/children so that there is balance in all activities and the WFH system works seamlessly and happily. Always remember children learn by example and they are seeing you how you conduct yourself in these testing times. It’s not about quantity of time but the quality of time that you spend with your family that matters the most.
# Avoid Distractions
Don’t get too sucked in by the news or anything else happening around you. You probably already take a few breaks throughout the day at the office, and that’s fine to do at home, too. Using that time to throw in a load of laundry is alright, but try not to look at your new work arrangement as an opportunity to finally clean out that closet or anything else that takes a lot of sustained focus and time. Right now, one of the biggest distractions is the news. And if you’re working remotely because of the new coronavirus, checking in on COVID-19 updates is going to be at the front of your mind. It’s good to stay informed, of course, but it’s also easy to scroll yourself into an anxious mess thereby hampering your focus and productivity. I suggest setting timers for any breaks you take. You don’t want to get too immersed and forget that you’re at work altogether. If you’re someone who’s susceptible to getting distracted every time you get news alert, turn your notifications off during the workday, too.
# Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
It is a known fact that the quality of our communication determines the quality of our relationships. So in present times, have a clear strategy to communicate effectively with your family, colleagues, clients and vendors on regular basis. This will cut down on miscommunication and break up some of the social isolation that can come from working from home.
# Take care of your body and wellbeing
This is the most critical of all hacks. Invest at least one hour a day to do an activity which rejuvenates your body, mind and spirit. Follow a schedule of yoga (can be easily done indoors in present times) and meditation (many wonderful apps are available now a days for guided meditations). Our productivity and happiness gets immensely enhanced if we meditate daily.
Always remember the “Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change, whilst the Realist adjusts the sail” So time has come to be a realist and see things the way they are, accept them, adapt, innovate and grow. We could never ask for a better opportunity than Work from Home to be able to achieve Work Life Integration and create a life of good health, wealth and happiness.
Work-Life Balance Coach & Hypnotherapist
M – 99100 33770