The question that comes to mind often is, how do I achieve a work-life balance? Is work-life-balance important?
Making a work-life balance during the pandemic is an essential and must-have conversation topic. When the lines between work and home life are blurred, we need to maintain a work-life balance.
It seems like an easy task because you are working from home; however, in reality, it is the complete opposite. It would be best if you made an effort to draw a line between business hours and not checking your work emails at night or whenever a client or customer messages.
In this article, I will share some tips and advice about creating and maintaining a work-life balance:
1. Find a job that offers work-life balance.
If you continuously find yourself overworked or have a difficult time balancing work life and family life. Then it might be the time for you to look for a new job, which offers flexibility and allows you to work at your own pace.
Business Insider released an article titled '25 great jobs that let you have a life outside work.' This article mentions jobs like a computer programmer, client manager, recruiting manager, marketing coordinator, data analyst, data engineer and etcetera.
If that's not an option for you, then talking to your manager about flexibility is the best way to negotiate a work-life balance. If you're looking for a new job, make sure to speak to the interviewer and understand the job's demands before leaping.
2. Use your time wisely.
You probably have a lot of tasks that you need to complete by the end of the day or week. However, not all jobs are not equal, and these tasks can fit into four groups:
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither important nor urgent
Focus on urgent and essential tasks, and this approach allows you to spend more time on the critical functions and spend less time on the unimportant tasks.
3. Make time for yourself.
It can be easy to get caught up with meetings, emails, talking to colleagues and everyday activities. Make sure to create some personal time for yourself, your family and relaxation time.
This particular time will allow you to meditate, get rest, take a break and be more productive after "me time."
Use this time to do what you love and spare time for a hobby, passion or skill.
4. Do exercise and walk in the daytime.
It's easy to let go of regular exercise when your gym membership is cancelled, or gyms are closed due to the pandemic. During the summer months, make sure to take a walk, run or jog outside.
Remember, if you commit to it every day for 21 days, it will become a positive habit.
5. Unplug from technology.
In an article from Forbes titled, '6 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance', it mentions the importance of unplugging and the expectation of constant accessibility.
It also mentions times where you could turn off your phone and focus on enjoying the moment. For example, don't check your phone when you're spending time with the family or during video-conferencing with friends.
Make time to read, prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, spend time with family, draw a book, or start a gratitude journal. Many other ideas can help you relax and unplug from technology.
6. Create boundaries and work hours.
Ensure that you have a consistent schedule for sleeping, eating, and a set time for working hours. For example, if you used to go to work from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, then continue with the schedule when working from home.
If you continue with a set schedule, it will be easier to maintain a work-life balance that you had worked so hard to create. This schedule will give you greater control over your day and more time and energy to focus on personal time.
This method will also allow you to avoid answering emails during the evening or during dinner time.
7. Be an understanding and supportive manager.
It's easier to push employees to excel and perform at their best while juggling family life and personal life. Try to be more understanding and supportive with your employees - understand their situation and create a schedule that works for them.
This flexibility and support will result in higher productivity, efficiency, and a better long-term relationship. Research has shown that employees don't leave organizations; instead, they leave their managers or supervisors.
Keeping your employees first will result in positive results for you and them during the pandemic and the future.
8. Offer wellness benefits and counselling services for free.
Companies or employers can offer wellness benefits and counselling services to their employees to help them cope with stressful situations. Some employees feel stressed out while managing their work life and personal life.
These counselling services can provide some relief to them and their families. Another excellent service that employers can offer is conflict resolution and management services.
Employees can utilize these services to improve their current situation or fix an issue that is upsetting them.
9. Take short breaks and use your lunch break.
Make sure to take your mini-breaks and take the full time given to you for your lunch hour. Stop working during this time and focus on eating and preparing a meal or snack.
Ensure that you look away from your computer every twenty minutes for twenty seconds to give your eyes a break. Get up from your chair and do some quick stretches every thirty minutes.
Make sure to get up and walk around for a few minutes as this gives you a break from the continuously sitting in one spot. Try to take a ten minute break for every one hour of productive work - if you are not able to take then minutes then begin with five minutes and gradually increase it to ten minutes.
Make sure to take your breaks for something useful such as dhuhr prayer, asr prayer, doing remembrance, spending time with the family or simply relaxing.
10. Read famous and inspirational quotes.
Here are some famous quotes for work-life balance:
- "Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives."
- "You will never feel satisfied with work until you are satisfied by life." Heather Schuck
- "Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life." Brian Dyson
- “Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”
- “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
11. Plan your high points and low points.
If you are able to plan your high points and most energetic points in the day and your lowest energy periods in the day then you can plan accordingly. You can use this knowledge to your advantage and work on the most important and tasks that give you the highest value during your high points in the day. Use your peak moments to your advantage as this practice will allow you to have more free time and be more efficient and productive.
Make sure to balance your physical activities, emotional capacity and mental health as well while you juggle work, family life, chores, exercise and other day-to-day activities.
These work-life balance tips make it easier for you to manage your time, health, energy and ability. Make positive habits, change your mindset and grow your personality. The future of work looks a bit different as employers are offering more flexibility, which results in higher productivity and efficiency.
Some employers, such as Shopify, have revolutionized their approach by providing work from home for their 5000+ employees. This change shows that other employers may offer similar flexibility, and it could be the new way of work. Building positive work-life habits now will have tremendous results in the future.