March 13th, 2022 will be two years. Two WHOLE YEARS since the Coronavirus pandemic began. Two years ago what seemed like our entire lives went virtual.
That “quick 5 minute meeting” turned into a scheduled zoom call that could’ve been an email, physical happy hours turned into awkward zoom calls where nobody really drinks and theres about 5 people total engaging in small conversation. The workplace changed. Some people say for the worse- I say for the best.
But, there’s also two sides to every story. Sure- being able to throw a load of wash in while you’re between meetings, and that small 30 minute nap is great every day, but something I’ve noticed is, if you’re anything like me- work/life balance went out the door when I walked out of my office for the last time on March 13th.
So that begs the question, how do you have a comfortable work/life balance, when you work WHERE YOU LIVE?! Here’s my Top 5 Tips to Work (Comfortably) from your Comfort Zone:
- Get An Essential Oil Diffuser and Use It:
This is my go to product when I’m under pressure or stress in both my professional, and personal life. The second I feel overwhelmed, I fill my diffuser up with water and Lavender essential oil drops. Within 5 minutes, I can smell the diffuser working it’s magic and there’s so much less tension in the air, and inside of me. Lavender is typically used to promote stress relief and relaxation. You can use any combination of oils though depending on what your own personal needs are. Specifically I have this one, but you can get them from typically anywhere at places like TJ Maxx, Target, Walmart, or Amazon for a rather inexpensive cost.
2. Time Blocking will save your life- Including for Personal Reasons:
I always try and set boundaries for myself when I’m working from home. On one hand, yes you were hired to do the job you do for 8 hours a day. Now, with the pandemic, I’ve noticed that a lot of employers now understand that there needs to be a work-life-balance more than ever since the pandemic started. Long gone are the days of “leaving it at the office” since we live, IN OUR OFFICES. Time Blocking will help alleviate some of the guilt we feel for not being at our desk 8 hours straight a day like we typically are when were in an office. For me, I like to take a half hour each morning first thing, around 8:30 to answer any emails or urgent matters that have come in from the day before. A good way to look at Time Blocking is explained here:
Time blocking is a time management method that asks you to divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task, or group of tasks, and only those specific tasks. Instead of keeping an open-ended to-do list of things you’ll get to as you’re able, you’ll start each day with a concrete schedule that lays out what you’ll work on and when. (Laura Scroggs, todoist.com)
With this method, I like to schedule little things for myself during my work day such as 5 minute little tasks such as “Take Trash Out”, or “Walk Break”. Having these small slots of time will keep you from going stir-crazy, and also offers a guilt free way to break up the work day.
3. Invest in a Desk
I can’t even believe how much more productive I felt and proved to be once I finally invested in a desk. For the first 6 months of working from home, I sat on the floor in my living room on a pillow at a coffee table in front of my couch to try and get work done. Not a good way to go about being a working professional I’d say. Having a desk and a place to keep all of my work things, and leaving them there at the end of the day helps me stay away from Slack and Teams calls or messages until the wee hours of the night. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on one either! I got mine on Facebook marketplace for $100 dollars and refurbished it myself! (Okay maybe with a little help from my Dad).
4. Use a whiteboard
Whiteboards are my favorite thing to use in my home office besides my desk! I have one that is a calendar, and one that is just a blank space for me to write on with dry — erase markers. Having both of these allow me to write To Do Lists down for the week, compiling them into work and personal To Do’s. For example, if I have to reach out to a few contacts about influencer partnerships for my full time job, I write down to block out time to email those contacts, and to post their orders in our company marketing calendar. Then, on my personal side, I write things down such as scheduling a dentist appointment, working on my homework for my graduate course, etc. Prioritizing what I have going on in my work and personal life on my whiteboard keep me from forgetting the important stuff!
5. And finally…. Go Towards The Light!
Now I know not everyone can do this, but placing my desk in front of a window was a HUGE game changer for me. I am a sucker for a good view, so when I’m down the rabbit hole of Marketing Activations, being able to feel the sun on my face or having a nice view to look out of my window at every now and again, helps keep me calm and collected. If you don’t have the luxury of working in front of a window, try and take small breaks and go outside to get fresh air and sunshine. I promise, your mental health will thank you.
Working from home can be tough on even the strongest people, but it can also be very comforting and beneficial if you use your time for both work and relaxation. Knowing when to turn off is key, but I hope this post shed some light on how you can upgrade your space and help you feel a little more comfortable about working where you live. What’s your biggest working from home tip or what has helped you remain calm? Send me your suggestions so we can all help one another!