Although there’s a lot to love about working from home, it also has its drawbacks.
One of the biggest is that the lines between our personal and professional lives can get seriously blurred, increasing the likelihood of burnout — especially for those of us who have also had to take on childcare and homeschooling responsibilities.
To help you establish a better work/life balance in 2022, we scoured through our past articles for our top tips on setting boundaries, reducing stress, and staying engaged with the task in front of you.
Build a new routine.
For many of us, the usual nine-to-five went out the door when the pandemic started. Working from home means you have much more freedom in your day, but it also means there’s much less structure — and that’s a problem, because you need some structure so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel everyday.
Here’s the good news: You can use this moment of transition to build a new routine that works for you, one that strikes just the right balance between flexibility and stability. As you do, think carefully about how you work best. Anna Rowley, a consulting psychologist to tech firms, says to ask yourself: “Are you a morning person or an afternoon person? When do you most feel most alert? Arrange your schedule accordingly so you’re doing high-power tasks at the optimal times.” (Tap here for more advice on building — and sticking — to a new routine.)
Do one thing at a time.
This tip is especially important for parents who now have to juggle childcare on top of working from home. Daphne de Marneffe, a San-Francisco-based psychotherapist and the author of multiple books on marriage and childcare, urges parents to tackle the many demands on their time step by step.
“Think of the biggest problem or stress-point you, your family, or your kids are facing and think of one step toward solving it,” de Marneffe says. “There is so much to do and to fix — none of us can manage it all. But we can put one foot in front of the other and be proud of taking one step toward improving the situation.” (Tap here for more advice on balancing childcare and work.)
Take more breaks.
As tempting as it can be to push through until you’ve crossed off every item on your to-do list, the truth is you’ll actually work better and more efficiently if you take breaks regularly. Keren Eldad, a personal and executive coach and host of the Coached podcast, recommends taking 20 minute breaks every two hours to restore your energy.
“Structured rest and play are extraordinarily useful for our creativity and productivity,” Eldad says. “There is a wealth of research that has proven putting breaks on your calendar at consistent times translates to success.” (Tap here for more advice on how to take breaks effectively.)