In Victoria where I live, we have recently entered another stage of lockdown due to Covid, so I thought it was time for a reminder about work-life balance. Not just about balance but also about work-life fulfilment.
In previous lockdowns, I found myself working incredibly long hours. I also lived in a two bedroom apartment and worked from home, so the commute from work to home was a 2 metre step into the living room!
It’s something that the people around me also shared as having a similar experience. While locked down and stuck in a 5km radius, and only able to leave home for food and exercise, there wasn’t much else to do but work.
It was also easier doing over-time when working from home because you don’t have a clear end to your day like getting on the train to go home.
My workplace has since moved to purely working remotely, which has meant that I’ve had to identify unhealthy remote working behaviours and try to make sure that I change them.
One example was that I just kept working, even when the working day had ended. Working late hours because you can, doesn’t mean you should. That’s not to say there won’t be times you need to work late. Just don’t make a habit of it.
Hungry for a break
Another bad habit is working through lunch. Because you don’t have the social pressure of your colleagues in the office wanting to go out for lunch, it’s easy to just eat at your desk. I found whenever I did this, my work in the afternoon suffered because I wasn’t having a mental and even physical break. Sitting in a chair for 8 hours straight isn’t good for you.
To combat this habit, I’ve started taking my dog for a walk every lunch time, and even booked it out in my calendar to make sure I do it. And just because I can, see a picture below of my beagle Dexter. He’s very convincing at getting me to take the walk!
Have you noticed there’s a theme so far? Working when you shouldn’t be. Don’t work on weekends. There’s no good reason to and your mind needs a break. Not just that, but you need to have more to your life than work.
As I mentioned during the lockdowns I had gotten into some bad habits. What it really boils down to is having something in your life other than work.
I don’t necessarily mean being social and hanging out with friends. While being social is important, I think it’s also important to have something for yourself. Habits and passions that keep you busy during those down times.
I’ve made a point to cultivate different passions since starting remote working. I joined a netball team to help keep fit and make some new friends. I’ve started getting into gardening and continued with my love of reading and writing.
If you’re feeling like your whole life revolves around work, try looking for a new passion to feed your mind and body. I know that I was in a place where I even started dreaming about work. Now I’ve consciously made room in my life for other things and I’m feeling much better about everything. I think even my performance at work has improved since I made these changes.
It might be strange for a career blog to suggest you work less, but I don’t care! Look after number one, YOU first and the rest will follow.