Working From Home: Tips & Tricks for a better Work/Life Balance
Updated: May 12, 2022
Written by Nicolaus Waddell
If you have begun working from home in this new era ushered in by a nasty wave of COVID-19, it’s probably taking you a bit of an adjustment. At least, I know it has been a drastic change for me.
Gone are the days of commuting over an hour to work each morning and afternoon. Now it takes all of 5 seconds for me to get to work making it easy to roll out of bed and get going in the morning. However, I’ve learned that was a bad habit impacting my mental health. I started noticing a lot more changes I have made over the last year while working from home.
Here are some of my tips and tricks I’ve found to make the transition into working from home and how to achieve a better work/life balance:
1. Creating a designated office space that you can remove yourself from at the end of the day is one of your first steps. Get yourself a proper office chair, desk, and mouse. Add décor that motivates and inspires you towards one of your career aspirations. Get yourself a nice coffee mug for work only and don’t put anything around you that will be too distracting. Creating a more ideal work environment to support you through the day but also keep you focused is important.
2. Wake up each morning with enough time to give yourself time to get ready in whatever way that you would have normally. Rolling out of bed and into the office chair or directly opening your laptop screen without moving from the bed will do you no good. You need time to separate your morning personal time a part, or getting ready, from when you need to sit down and start. Give yourself 10 minutes in between at least to chill, scroll your Instagram or maybe take a quick nap. Just make sure you set an alarm.
3. Don’t stop your meal prep! Just because you’re at home and the kitchen is only the room over, doesn’t mean you will have any more time preparing food on a lunch break. It will also be healthier on the long run if your tailor your meals to meet your dietary needs.
4. Take Breaks and lots of them. Make sure you get up from you seat, look outside, or even better go outside and walk around. Your eyes will thank you in the long run. You should take a 5-minute break from the screen every hour or so to keep away blue light fatigue. It will also give you a chance to clear your mind and re-energize for whatever the next task is.
5. When your day is done, stop working when it’s quitting time, and leave your working environment. Don’t look back our you may be tempted to start working again. The more you slip back into work when you should be on your own time, the less work/life balance you have, and this is where burnout comes in. It also means, don’t take on too many jobs just because you can do multiple ones in the same place.
If you’re still struggling to keep your mental health up while at home, try these tips:
6. If you’re feeling lonely from social isolation, try adopting a pet. It could be as simple as a goldfish, but it will help feel like you’re not completely alone, especially if you live by
yourself. Dogs and cats make cuter, funnier, and sometimes more annoying coworkers; but I personally prefer them over the human variety.
7. Feeling stranded at home? Even if you were a hermit and never left the house before the pandemic hit, you at least were forced out of the house to get to work. Go out and grab a coffee or lunch from your favourite place every once in a while. Treat yourself. It will get you out of the house slightly more often, or at least give you an excuse to leave if you feel like you need one.
8. Plummeting self-esteem from wearing the same outfit every day? Buy some new clothes!
If you buy some that are comfortable, office appropriate, and make you feel good, you’ll have a harder time feeling like you haven’t showered in 3 days because, hey, it’s a pandemic.