The slippery work-life balance: How to avoid burnout in 2021
Maintaining a work-life balance when working full-time is hard, but it can also be difficult when working remotely.
Think of your normal week before lockdown: running back home, exhausted after a hectic day at the office, desperately trying to organize your time between the yoga class, meeting a buddy for a drink, cooking dinner, and reading those novels that we bought last year!
Does this picture sound familiar?
Many thought that when COVID-19 forced us into lockdown, working remotely meant that we could at last change our lives.
Maybe we all had illusions of having more time for ourselves; working when we wanted to, taking up an instrument again, or learning a new language.
Sadly that’s not really how things have turned out. Working from home can be as difficult for achieving a work-life balance as being in the office.
Those of us who have been working remotely from before the pandemic know only too well how difficult it is to achieve a work-life balance in this different environment.
The home office can be a lonely place with almost zero chance for socialization, for long periods of time. It can lead to excessive screen watching, alternating with sudden intense bursts of activity if a deadline is called. Not having a companion to chat to, or gather snippets of gossip over coffee can make things very strange!
The statistics speak for themselves. Buffer and AngelList, have named loneliness and lack of communication accounting for 40% of the difficulties facing remote workers, as well avoiding distractions and not being able to “unplug” from work!
Let’s look at some coping mechanisms for achieving a work-life balance while working remotely.
What to do when feeling burned out? Here are 6 tips on how to avoid burnout in 2021 | @alisaanton
Schedule short breaks in your work calendar
Once you begin to work in a remote environment, many people forget to set clear boundaries about when they are, and are not available at work and available for their teammates, freelance clients, or manager.
Some of us even forget to have a mid-morning break or even lunch, yet it is crucial to take a break to avoid complete exhaustion by the end of the day.
If you struggle to have breaks – schedule a couple of short breaks into your day and, always have a lunch break scheduled into your work calendar. .
Once you have a moment to make a coffee or have some lunch – do not drink or eat in front of the laptop; go out for a 10-minute walk, or take a power nap, you’ll soon notice that taking the trouble to have breaks does wonders for your mental health.
Stay connected with a virtual community
If you cannot meet your friends or work colleagues in-person connect with friends or like-minded remote professionals online. This is a great way to combat the loneliness of lockdown.
Try other health options like yoga on Zoom, or visit an online therapy class or learn something new, like how to make sourdough bread. It won’t come naturally, but in time it can make you feel happier, and more importantly connected with others.
What helped me, when I felt mentally drained or overwhelmed, was joining a virtual co-working space. Here I was able to discuss business ideas and really got a sense of being part of a community interested in what I was doing, and valuing my input.
Apart from finding several enjoyable online groups, I’ve mastered several useful skills, such as how to get things done with less effort, how to improve my work scheduling, and how to make better business presentations.
Here are some platforms to try out: Remove-how & Myworkhive.
Set a visible boundary between work and home life
The traditional office environment allows us to remove ourselves from the office and leave work responsibilities behind us.
When working from home this is more difficult, as your laptop and to-do lists are still visible when you have completed your hours.
This makes it very challenging to maintain a good sense of work-life balance.
What I’ve done, is to re-arrange my space to create a separation between my work space and, non-work space. Work stops, and ‘my time’ begins.
One way to avoid burnout during the Covid-19 pandemic is to meditate | @brucemars
Think about how you are feeling. If you sense fatigue, and the symptoms of exhaustion, it might be time to for a new coping mechanism.
I’d even say every professional, who feels mentally exhausted, should start practicing meditation at least once a day. Trust me, meditation will make a difference to your overall sense of happiness and well-being.
For those who are willing to try, I’d recommend transcendental meditation. It involves sitting in silence for 10-15 minutes a day with your eyes closed.
This simple technique combats exhaustion by energizing us, improving concentration, and boosting our productivity.
There are many different kinds of meditation some involving mantras.
Best to ask others if they know of any online classes first, but finding a class on the internet is not difficult and could change your life.
Learn to “give a good NO”
Perhaps, “No” is the most uncomfortable word, but it gets easier if you start using it more often. “No” can keep our productivity and motivation high. As the American marketer, Ryan Holiday remarked: “Don’t say maybe if you want to say no”.
Often we accept requests from someone while working remotely without first checking with others what is involved and assessing our own schedule first.
It’s not a bad thing to delay your answer if you’re not sure. Calculate the time needed, set your priorities, and say “no”, if the work could cost you a lot of stress, and long hours on the laptop.
Don’t let yourself take on someone’s job along with your own, especially when you may not have others to support you.
How to avoid burnout working from home – Our tips | @ Kari Shea
Share your home office with fur-worker
There is now scientific data showing that in social isolation, pets have a positive impact on an owners’ mental health. Moreover, pet companies can actually increase our work output and prevent burnout.
Pets are also excellent conversation starters during Zoom meetings. I can’t even count how many times my cat jumped on the camera while I was discussing business. 🙂
Have you heard about the Japanese philosophy, called “The Power of Kawaii” – meaning cuteness?
A couple of years ago, some university students experimented to see if observing cute kitten photos impacted on productivity and helped workers to stay focused longer. The results showed that pets calmed the workers and encouraged their creative thinking.
If you still don’t have a fur-worker, I hope you’re already convinced to take one. If so, don’t forget the mantra “Adopt, don’t shop”!
Maintaining a work-life balance isn’t the mission impossible. It just requires good planning, focusing on the right things, and identifying the coping techniques that work best for you. And you, what are your tips to prevent burnout?
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Hiya! My name is Teodora – a digital nomad who’s juggling between aligning remote teams to work towards common goals, crafting selling copy for 4+ years, and developing customer relationships that promote retention and loyalty.
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