For the better part of a year, the Covid-19 pandemic has upended the way we work and live. Balancing these two components was never easy, but coronavirus has taken this challenge to new and unprecedented levels.
For many, the new normal means working from home instead of commuting back and forth from the office. Those whose jobs have been essential throughout the crisis likely mean longer hours and more hectic schedules. And for parents, there’s the added responsibility of homeschooling and finding or maintaining childcare arrangements.
Here are some tips for staying productive, minimizing stress, and effectively managing your time as the pandemic presses on:
Have a dedicated workspace.
Separate your workspace from the rest of your home. If there’s a spare room you can use, great. But it can be as simple as a corner of your living room or a section of your kitchen table.
- Make sure others know that this is your “office” so you can maintain boundaries when you need to get work done. Hint: The same holds true for children, for their home-based classes and schoolwork.
Transition between work and personal life.
You may have lost your normal commute and the transitional routines between home and work, like stopping for coffee, clearing your inbox, or saying hello or goodbye to colleagues. So it’s time to find new ones.
- Get dressed for the day. Research has shown that this helps put you into a more productive work mode.
- Create cues to know when it’s time to start or stop working. Enable your brain to switch gears by taking a walk around the block, stretching in place, or getting that coffee, even if it just means walking downstairs to do so.
- Turn off your computer. Then you’ll be less likely to check just one more task or send just one more email.
Treat yourself like an employee.
Hold yourself accountable for completing tasks and meeting deadlines, but also know when to say when. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you should be “on” 24/7. It’s just as important as ever to take breaks, rest, and recharge.
- Manage your expectations. Approach your new working environment and schedule with a little extra patience and grace. Build an extra dose of flexibility into your outlook.
Communicate your needs.
Feeling alone and cut off socially from others can make stress levels skyrocket. So even though you may not be able to do it in person, reach out to others.
- Set up video coffee breaks with coworkers and Zoom gatherings with family and friends to combat isolation.
- Be open and honest. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with work/life balance, talk to your boss and work together toward a solution. If you absolutely need to focus on a work assignment, your family won’t understand unless you tell them. Effective communication has never been so critical.
It may feel like your career needs to be pushed to the back burner as you navigate the sometimes rough coronavirus waters. But, hang in there. Take care of yourself, your loved ones – and your professional goals and plans. For additional guidance, and available job opportunities in your desired field, contact PrideStaff Fresno today. We’re here to help!