You’ve probably read a lot about how important it is to maintain a work-life balance, but how does one actually do it? Especially these days with Covid-19 causing so many of us non-essential workers to be remote employees, the lines between professional life and personal life have started to blur.
A healthy work-life balance has shown in scientific studies to correlate with a more robust immune system, better mental health, a fulfilling personal life, and even better job performance (seriously!). Of course, a poor work-life balance is likely to cause the inverse. A poor work-life balance is also the leading risk factor for burnout syndrome.
So, want a better work-life balance? Or think you’re already doing pretty well? We share our work-life to-do list so you can see how we do it.
Our top to-dos for a good work-life balance:
Schedule family time. You might think, ‘But Team TeuxDeux, I’ve been home 24/7 for months, I don’t need to schedule family time.” Yes, you might be seeing your family constantly, but are you connecting with your family? Laptop off, smartphone silenced?
It might be hard right now to get some personal time with your significant other if you also have kids at home. You both might be overwhelmed by telecommuting, childcare, and the whiplash news cycles these past few months. Do us a favor and send a calendar event right now to your significant other for a date night. Even if your area is still under quarantine–distract the kids and shut the bedroom door behind you.
Take a lunch break every day. Have you noticed your work hours are extending since you and your co-workers aren’t logging off to run to after-work events? Or are you taking longer hours because you’re worried about layoffs? We get it. But eat your sandwich away from your keyboard.
Time management: We use TeuxDeux every day (duh) to plan and manage our time. Our philosophy is: keep it simple. And for simplicity–nothing beats a scrap piece of paper–except a scrap piece of paper that can be magically accessed by you from anywhere.
Balance necessary long hours with vacation time as much as you can. We like to schedule a vacation day for the day after a big deadline. We go out on a high note and spend the day with cucumbers over our eyes. We do it ahead of time so that we’re sure the whole time we’re working on the project that we’ll be day drinking once it’s over.
Use your free time for fun. Don’t read that business book your manager mentioned (unless that’s fun to you).
Social media can be a welcome, personal distraction during a workday, but recently, it might not feel so great to you. If you’re repeatedly getting upset, anxious, or saddened by your social media feed, we are OK with you logging off. You don’t need to read every piece of news or know about every latest theory or see those pics of your friends who live in a Phase 4 county.
Find a new job. If you can’t get the downtime you need to for a better work-life balance–leave it. We know job hunting is difficult, and we’re facing a recession, so this might feel like a nigh-impossible task. But if you take small steps every day towards seeing what else could be out there for you, it could be manageable. Start by updating your resume now.