7 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations to reimagine the workplace, and more importantly, reassess our values. As more employees shift into permanent work-from-home arrangements, the boundaries we set between work and non-work-related responsibilities become easily blurred. Even on-premise employees find themselves bringing their work home, while responding to emails, phone calls and Teams chats long after work hours. It can be difficult to establish where your workday ends and your personal life begins. But now more than ever, it’s crucial to focus on finding a better balance between both. Here are 7 tips to win back the balance in our lives.  
 
1.  Have Set Work Hours  Set your work hours with your manager, and stick to them. For those employees working from home, pretend you’re heading to the office and follow your usual routine: Get up at the same time you would in order to commute, shower, eat breakfast and head to your “office” — whichever corner of your house that may be. Don’t forget to include a lunch break. Wrap up at the same time each day and then leave your “office” like you normally would. Make sure not to step foot into it until the next day.  
 
2. Embrace Flexibility — Many organizations are prioritizing their employees’ day-to-day well-being by becoming more flexible with work hours and schedules. This is your time to flex them! For some, this can mean taking a one-hour break in the middle of the day to take the kids to their dentist appointment or heading out a bit early to watch their soccer practice. For others, it can mean using that time to run errands or attempting household repairs. You can always add on the time later if needed, but at least you are freed up to do some of those personal responsibilities instead of trying to tackle them all at once during the weekend. 
 
3. Spend Quality Time with Family, Friends and Pets — Gathering with family, friends and even our furry friends can help break us out of work mode. Most of our day is spent working, so it’s important to be intentional and present when we’re with our loved ones. Make a family dinner together, plan a happy hour with friends or enjoy cuddle time with your pet, as often as needed.  

4. Take Small Breaks Throughout the Day — Breaks are crucial to help get us through a workday, and help us refocus on life outside of work. If you’re working from home, schedule time for a quick 10-20-minute jog around the neighborhood. If you’re working at the office, get up from your desk, stretch and walk around. Remember to hydrate. Listen to a favorite song that will help you reset. Even do a few pieces of a puzzle to get your brain flowing again.  
 
5. Plan Out Your Vacation — You deserve a break. And you’re going to work so much harder when you know you have something on the horizon to look forward to. Whether it’s a two-week dream vacation across the country or a two-day hotel stay close to home, get a head start at planning those adventures, wherever they may be. Discover tons of staycation, vacation or road trip ideas to spark your wanderlust, including theme park adventuresrelaxing getawaysaction-packed sporting events, exciting live events and so much more right here
 
6. Start a New Hobby — Did you start a new hobby during the pandemic? Did you try baking? Or yoga? Keep it going! Deepen your expertise and ask friends to join you. Incorporate your newfound interest into your everyday routine, and you’ll be a master in no time. If you haven’t started, now is the time. Learning something new and pursuing your interests help break up the day and offer something exciting to do when work hours are over. 
 
7. Switch Up Your Routine — For those working remotely, sometimes you just need a change of scenery other than the four walls you’ve been looking at for the past year and a half. Grab your laptop and head to your favorite coffee shop or public library. This can help create the feel of being in an office, which in turn can help you get into work mode and not be distracted by other tasks at home. For those working in an office, instead of going straight home, try adding the gym or fun class to your routine. Regardless of how you switch things up, the important thing is to carve out time for yourself.

By Jena Pugh

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