Working From Home

It was completely new to me, this whole concept of ‘working from home’. For over two decades of my professional life, I’d had a routine. I’d get up, get ready, head to the office for 8-12 hours and often not look up for breath. It was all I knew.

In 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic we were all forced to slow down, stay home and isolate and those of us working from home were encouraged to work differently.

We were encouraged to take breaks away from our computer, stop for lunch, get out in the fresh air once a day and exercise. Understanding was given for non-work related distractions and it was acceptable to work flexible hours.

The familiar, stress-inducing routine that I’d called work for so long, was no longer.

Eventually I familiarised myself with this new way of working. I followed all the guidance and although the reason why I was working from home was horrendous, I recognised this new way of working was working for me. I discovered a balance with work and home.

So, now the pandemic is over, why am I back to my same old punishing work routine? There’s absolutely no doubt workload has significantly increased but that shouldn’t mean we need to stop prioritising ourselves, our families, our health and well-being.

Whether you’re back in office or still working from home, here are 5 tips to help you find work life balance, even with a heavy workload...

  1. Learn to say ‘NO’ – Ever noticed how much more you get done when you’re working from home in comparison to working in the office? Why? Because you can’t say ‘NO’! If you’re snowed under and cannot take on anymore you must cultivate the confidence to politely say ‘NO’! Respect yourself, respect your time, set your boundaries and your colleagues will respect them.

  2. Affirm – Often the reason why we don’t respect our own time and set boundaries is because we feel we need to be all things to all people, otherwise in the eyes of ourselves and others we’re simply 'not good enough'. So, affirm to yourself, 'you are good enough, you are doing enough, you are incredible at what you do and you are worthy of your boundaries!' Do not let others define your priority.

  3. Nurture – Prioritise yourself. I don’t mean that in a selfish, egotistical way. I mean look after yourself, eat well, exercise, make space for you, prioritise time to do things that make you feel good, because when you are well and you feel good you equip yourself with the tools to be your best self for the sake of others.

  4. Breathe – When you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious you have forgotten to breathe. So, pause before continuing and breathe. Free yourself from restraint. When you are riddled with busy-ness, breath is where balance lies. Breath is where you remember who you are and what matters. Do not forget to breathe.

  5. Plan for a good day – Write one ‘To Do’ list for both business and private tasks (that way you’re also prioritising your family and yourself). Do not overload yourself; it’s not about listing tasks but finishing tasks. Then prioritise, diarise or delegate. Remember to say ‘NO’ to distractions and if you find yourself procrastinating, pause, ask yourself ‘why’ and deal with the reason; do not delay. Finally, at the end of the day celebrate all you’ve done. (Do not dwell on all you haven’t!)

The new way of working is simply to find balance. Work hard, but do not forget that you are the force behind the outcome. You are important. You are vital. You come first.

Love, Hx

Instagram and Facebook - @hayleybirdlifecoach

About Hayley

Hayley specialises in coaching purpose driven professionals to find and follow their life’s purpose and take the next BIG step on their professional journey.