Set Work-Life Boundaries in 4 basic steps: WFH edition

March 18, 2022
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Simple rules to follow for a happy and fulfilling work from home experience

Success in your career and personal life begins with a healthy work-life balance, and the key to that balance is the boundaries you set. As much as it's important to ringfence every facet of your life, including housework, childcare and recreation, it's also very natural for these to bleed together, especially now when so many people work from home full-time due to Covid-19. Here are some major tips to create that work-life balance we all crave for!

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1. Visual, time-based cues

There are so many distractions - construction near the house, pets running around, Netflix, etc. Visual and time-based cues can help you develop and keep good work discipline.  

Time-based cues :
·      Morning coffee can indicate that it's time to check your email inbox
·      Wear a collared shirt or smart dress to signal the start of the work day. Or conversely, change into athleisure, loungewear or gym gear to prep yourself to wrap things up and get into “end day” mode
·      A calendar that tracks how many times you unplug every week from your mobile devices. When you look at the calendar and see your time-out streak, you’ll be motivated further. Research has shown that people who track their progress on goals like losing weight, reading a new book, and practicing meditation are all more likely to improve than those who don’t. Check out these 6 best habit trackers for you to try!

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2. Exercise during/between online meetings

Long zoom calls back-to-back, especially if you are not presenting but listening passively, can be excruciating. Because of this, our bodies may be moving even less now since we’re stuck on our chairs. ‘Zoom fatigue’ is real, and scientists describe it as the tiredness or burnout associated with over-usage of virtual platforms to communicate. Research shows that people who sit for long periods of time are most like to be overweight or obese.     

·      walking around the block in between meetings
·      doing some stretches or calf raises
·      sitting on a yoga ball during calls /

Here is a simple hack to overcome zoom fatigue.

Physical activity can keep your body fit and your mind alert while not distracting you or those on the call. Even if you weren’t inspired by that zoom call, the exercises relax you. You feel in a better mood, you can focus better and you became more creative. Suddenly you have lots of ideas and more to say.

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3. Make time for Me-Time

Among the numerous downsides to a sudden shift to remote working, this is perhaps the most overlooked yet as essential as the quintessential water cooler conversation. It’s tough to replicate the water cooler conversations at home especially if you’re living alone. With this case in mind, it is still crucial to take a break.

The key is to make sure your scheduled breaks happen away from your workspace. If you’re sitting at a desk, move to another room, or take a quick walk outside. If you’re working at a busy coffee shop, find somewhere quiet or put in your headphones for a few minutes of quiet meditation or chat online with a colleague and talk about the latest viral tiktok or last night’s Bridgerton episode.

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4. Schedule Mindful Eating breaks

What’s your go-to fuel when you’re busy at work? Fast food, coffee, sugary or starchy snacks that are readily available? We’re guilty too!  Now more than ever, you must remember the importance of nutrition and mindful eating. Schedule 10-minute breaks and nourish yourself with fruits, nuts, and veggies. Luckily, there are many food options for those looking to cut their calories or carbs and improve general fitness. Taking care of your health and well-being leads to improved engagement and performance at work. There are so many healthy, quick, tasty and even plant-based and sustainable meals such as Arlene’s ready-made cuisine, you are not only helping your body but also the environment.

Finding that balance can take some time for those still adjusting to WFH life. Remember, downtime and boundaries can help you accomplish more. Build in scheduled breaks throughout the day to think and remove yourself from technology.  Your productivity, your mood, and your boss will thank you.