Work-from-home has made the office inescapable, and that shift in the environment makes detaching work responsibilities from personal time extremely difficult, especially for those accustomed to working in traditional office spaces or serviced office kl. While it may seem like a great way to put time back into your day, without clear boundaries, the lines between the start and end of a typical workday are blurred, which inevitably results in you working around the clock and eventually burning out.
As the pandemic accelerates remote work, more workers are faced with the challenges of an “always-on” culture. The importance of flexibility through this modernized arrangement is absolute, however, the right to disconnect should be equally recognized and practiced.
If you work-from-home and find the line between work and life slowly becoming non-existent, it’s time to make a few changes. Here are a few tips to help you detach and create a healthy balance between your personal and professional life – even if your office is the kitchen table.
Technology has been the saving grace that’s aided us in many ways, but it has also created the expectations of constant accessibility.
Put away your digital devices for the first and last few hours of the day. Reading emails and attending to work matters, even if it’s a quick check-in first thing after you wake up, sets you up for extra-long hours at work. Not to mention the immediate response of being subconsciously on high alert on work matters, prompting you to be highly functioning too early, too soon. To avoid this, develop a strong habit of resilience towards reacting to updates or notifications from work before and/or after working hours. According to psychologist Robert Brooks, “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress”. Set up timers for yourself to clock in and clock out of work, and be disciplined about sticking to that system, or look into the Pomodoro technique to help you be more productive without having technology as a temptation.
Adding to the pool of existing COVID-19 challenges is the lack of space. Many don’t have the luxury of ample square footage to shuffle around furniture or enjoy a dedicated home office. However, the ability to manage a successful work-home life balance has a lot to do with mindset, and clearly segmenting physical workspaces from sacred spaces may positively impact your transition to and from a working frame of mind.
Designate an area where you do nothing but work, and several other areas that are off-limits during work hours, your comfy bed should come to mind. Although plopping onto the bed with your laptop can seem like an irresistible feat, it’s important to simulate a transition within your home that allows you to mentally unwind and detach or physically close the door at work. The “out of sight, out of mind” technique can also be an effective strategy to implement into your work-from-home efforts, such as setting aside your laptop, tucking away documents, muting work accounts or simply physically leaving your makeshift workspace till the next workday.
As important as it is to create a space for yourself that’s conducive, it’s also important to forge a routine that closely resembles the one you would typically set for yourself at the office. This is to avoid wasting large chunks of time hyper-focusing on a single task or procrastinating to the point of no return, piled with days of work, with no time to make up for it. At work, it is easier to avoid procrastination or the “I’ll make time later” excuse, unlike at home where there are many comforts and convenient perks of a fully furnished distraction wonderland.
Create a viable routine that serves as the guideline for your day, while incorporating cues for yourself to know when it’s time to begin working and when it’s time to stop working. This would include having a hot cuppa coffee by your table to start the workday, taking that hour-long lunch break, making that 5-minute commute to the “pantry” to get snacks, and using a physical cue like taking a shower, watering the plants or switching on your Spotify playlist to indicate it’s the end of the workday.
Renting a dedicated workspace by the day is an excellent way to stay productive and properly manage your time. At Colony, we provide flexible workspaces that are available to scale on-demand, giving your business the agile edge it needs. In fact, take advantage of our latest promotion and save up to 2 months of rent!
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