As a working mom of three little kids, it can be difficult to find time in the day to do it all. Especially now as we settle into our new normal of working and doing school from home.
Fitting in the time to play Barbies, cooking dinner, managing team 1-1,
and reviewing profit and loss statements all while squeezing in a quick workout and some me-time can feel like a juggling act on a good day.
Here’s the thing, work-life balance is a myth. It is never perfectly balanced and letting go of “perfect” will help you flow and accept. Let me explain. If you have a sick child, or they are having a hard time emotionally adjusting to distance learning, if you are feeling burned out and need to focus on self-care, you may need to spend a little more time on the “family” aspect. If you have a tight deadline, a big project, or are dealing with a crisis you may have to spend more on the “work” side of life. Your days may not be balanced, but you are looking at the weeks, months, and even years, as a whole.
Best-Kept Secrets For Work-Life Balances - home
Create a routine: Set a schedule for when it's work time and when it's family time and stick to a schedule once you find one that works for you. Working from home has its benefits: you gain extra time by not commuting and your hours can be more flexible to fit the rhythm of your energy and productivity. Creating a routine is shown to reduce stress and increase productivity. When you have a routine that works for you, you feel in control of your day.
How to create a routine: Make a list of everything that you need to do on a daily basis. How long will it take you to complete the task? Start to create your ideal schedule using the list that you have, try to stick to your list for one whole week, make adjustments to your schedule until you get your ultimate flow.
Create a dedicated workspace: Having a dedicated workspace will help trigger your brain into a “work mood” when you walk into your space you know it’s go time. This will help you be more focused and productive. Having a dedicated workspace can also help your children and housemates know that this is your workspace. When you’re sitting in this spot, it’s a clue not to disturb you. Don’t have the extra space for a dedicated office? No problem!
Here are a few ideas to create a dedicated space:
1. Work in the same spot every day.
2. Create a box or bag that has all of your supplies that you will need, this will become your mobile office.
3. Create a trigger that it’s work time; light a candle, put on a song that motivates you, sharpen your pencil, or make a cup of tea.
Get Dressed: Yes, that’s right! Get up, take a shower and get dressed every workday. It is amazing how a shower can wake you up and make you alert. Plus, getting dressed is another sign to your mind that it’s time to work. You might be saying, “But no one is going to see me.” That’s not true, you see you. Working in your pj’s every now and then is a fun treat, but honestly, how do you feel when you have not showered for a few days? Kinds of blah. Try for one week, getting up and dressed every day. How do you feel? Does it help you with your mindset and keep you productive at work?
Get outside: Nature and sunlight are good for your soul. Sunshine helps improve your mental health. Even though it may not have felt like you got outside much before, the simple act of driving to and from work was still recharging you. Find 15-30 minutes to get outside and soak up the rays and breathe in the fresh air.
Shut it down: Close the laptop, put the phone away, and transfer your focus to your family. Working from home does not mean that you have to always be working from home. Shut it down and put work away. This is the most important part of work-life balance. Knowing that you need to literally walk away from the workday and focus on relaxing and reconnecting with your family.
It's ok to ask for help: I think it is very important to remind you (and myself) that it is ok to ask for help. If your budget allows it, it's ok to find help with childcare, tutors, housecleaners, have groceries and meals delivered. Too often we try and do it all only to burn ourselves out. There are many benefits to working at home, but please know that if you have kids at home who are also homeschooling and are finding it hard to juggle the workload and their school work, it is 100% ok to hire a tutor. You can even create a POD where they can be with other kids and the parents switch off who is watching them.
As working from home is becoming more of the norm, learning how to MASTER work life balance can be the difference between thriving and burn out. There are many benefits of working from home, you may find that you have a better work life balance without dealing with traffic, commute, and office distractions.
Like with anything new, it may take trial and error to find the balance between work and life. Get crystal clear on what that balance would look like, and slowly start working towards making that a reality.