Updated: May 1
It’s been over a year since WFH became a mainstream practice, and transitioning from in office to at home can be quite the feat. When we were all in the office, there was a distinct designation between work life and life life, but now, as we all know, these lines have been blurred. Do they even still exist? When your office is now your living room where you can see your TV and your dishes, it feels work-life is just wloirfke. (See what we did there?)
The most important word in the phrase work-life balance is balance, and although you have to work, you also have to live. Here are some ways that you can maintain that balance:
Believe you deserve permission to create boundaries.
Creating work-life balance starts with believing that you deserve balance. If you believe that you have to work all day to be productive, seen and valuable, then that’s what you’ll do. However, if you believe that you deserve to work and rest and live and succeed, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to do the rest. This has to happen before you do anything else.
Create a designated space for work.
Everyone doesn’t have the luxury of having an additional room to spare for an office; however, whether it’s a room, a wall or a corner, make that space. Your brain associates certain actions with places if you perform those actions enough times. (This is why, even though it’s so tempting, it’s important not to work in front of the TV or in bed. By the way, I’m still guilty of this.) Creating a designated work space allows your brain to associate this space with work, like it would an office, which can result in more productivity and balance!
Stick to a schedule as if you were in the office.
There’s always room for flexibility, but in general you should choose a schedule that works for you. That may be 9-to-5, or it may something alternative. Maybe you work 8-12 and return 4-8. Whatever your schedule is, sticking to it is where it gets hard. This takes discipline and the bullet point above to do.
Go see the outside world.
Whether it’s taking a walk during the day or going to a coffee shop to work during the week, leave your home. The beauty of working in the office was getting a daily change of scenery. The cons of how we work now include that we don’t automatically get that scenery change. The pros include that we get to choose what the change of scenery is and what it looks like. Book an Airbnb if you have to, but feel free to go.
Shut it down at some point.
One statement that one of my coworkers used to say is, This is PR, not ER. In other words, people are not going to die if you wait until tomorrow or the next day to email or call back. You do not need to work until 10 p.m. every night. They will be fine, and more importantly, you will be fine. You should have a hard stop at some point during the day that is your cut-off time. Everyone's time may be different, but it should give you enough time to wind down after work, spend time with your family, and/or just be.
Note: It’s important that we keep in mind that there are going to be busy seasons. There may be a few times a year where you have a really busy week or two and have to work late or into the wee hours of the night. Recognize this as season and not as standard.
Remember that God is your Provider!
If we live in a space where we are constantly trying to make our own way, we’re always going to be tired, anxious and exhausted. The peace that comes with knowing that God is your Jehovah Jireh will help you feel like you do not have to grind all of the time. In fact, it will help us to remember that we too deserve to live life, live life more abundantly, and rest.
There’s a KDL Twitter thread that has more of tips for WFH that you can check out here. In the meantime, putting these tips into practice will help you achieve more work-life balance. Are there any tips that have helped you over the past year? Let us know in the comments.