Elizabeth had a wonderfully balanced schedule when the kids were at school and her husband was at work each day. When the world was “open for business” as usual. Once the kids were off, it was to the gym for a workout and listening to a lesson or audiobook. She’d then be super pumped up and come home or go to the library to crank out some work. Well, that came to a screeching halt in March 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic and let’s face it… it’s not the same. Working to get control and make time to change eating and movement habits is a struggle regardless of the situation.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about some strategies to set your schedule in a way that will help keep you balanced outside of your working hours. It will cover managing wellness, social activity, and much more.
Set Your Work Hours
In 10 Simple Time Management Tips for Working at Home, we talked about how important it is to treat your remote work like you’re at the office. It’s a great start to getting a balanced schedule if you establish when you clock in and out.
If you want to work eight hours per day, “clock in” at nine o’clock and wrap up your days work for five. Make sure that you give yourself a lunch break – no one likes to work hungry. It will also help you to determine morning and evening routines, which we’ll talk about in a moment.
Focus on Yourself
One of the best ways to create a balanced schedule for yourself is to make sure you get your “me” time. However, working eight hours a day and being on top of chores can make this a bit tricky.
A good strategy to establishing time for yourself is setting a morning and evening routine. This can be a wake-up routine, an after-work routine, or something else. It’s healthy for you and can give you some much-needed self-care to balance out the stress in your day.
Forbes has a great (and short!) list of ways you can focus on yourself outside of work in their article, How To Maintain Work-Life Balance When Working From Home.
Plan Out Your Breaks
The biggest piece of advice for a balanced schedule is to take breaks. It’s not worth it to plow through six hours of work at once. You’ll burn out really quickly once the week carries on.
Once you get some good break-taking habits set, start planning out what you’re doing with them. This can be a chore that you’ve been putting off, reading a chapter of your book, or messaging back that friend who texted you. Just try and make sure that it’s not work-related – the goal of a break is to give you time away from the desk, after all.
Give Yourself Charging Time
Your phone shouldn’t be the only thing that’s fully charged at the start of your day. It might be a rough week, or maybe you just didn’t get enough sleep the last night.
Give yourself some extra charging time in the morning or during a break. Doing yoga and other mindfulness exercises can really help re-centre yourself before and after a busy day. If you have a hobby, maybe put a bit of time into it just to give yourself a boost.
Enjoy Your Evenings
Remember a moment ago when we were talking about setting your work hours? A balanced schedule means that once you’ve clocked out, you’ve clocked out. Save that 8 p.m. phone call that starts ringing for tomorrow and write that email you remembered in the morning.
The more you enjoy and de-stress during your evenings, the less stressed you’ll be in the morning and the more productive you’ll be during the day. It’s not worth it to be up all night worrying, so just enjoy the evening.
In total, we’ve come up with five things to keep in mind to keeping a balanced schedule to leave you balanced.
- Set Your Work Hours
- Focus on Yourself (At Least) Once Per Day
- Plan Out Your Breaks
- Give Yourself Charging Time
- Enjoy Your Evenings
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