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father working from home while keeping an eye on the kids

There is a very high possibility that if you are reading this article you are working from home right now. COVID-19 has transformed how millions of us work every day. From participating in Zoom meetings with your partner or kids in the background to tackling spreadsheet data while still in pajamas, the way we work may never be quite the same again.

Given these cramped quarters, how can you ensure that the line between your working life and home life don’t become too blurred? Is it possible to get the work/home life balance just right during a pandemic? In this article, we’ll take a look at some tips that will help you strike the right balance so that you come out on the other side with your relationships (and sanity!) intact.

Set Clear Working Hours

There’s one great thing about working from home— your time is flexible. While being able to work on your own schedule is great, it can make it a bit too easy for your work hours to bleed into your downtime. Set a clear working schedule and enforce a hard stop at the end of the day so that you can spend time with your family and wind down. Another upside to doing this? With that hard out at the end of the day, you’ll be amazed by how much your productivity will improve.

Take Meaningful Breaks

When it comes to break time, make sure you take a real break. In a fast-paced office environment, it can be hard to take a meaningful break, and things can get even more muddy at home. Take 15 minutes to spend time with the kids, walk around your garden, or pick up that book you’ve been reading. Make that time count before you get back to the grind.

Make Weekends Count

The days may seem like they all blend into one another at the moment. Like Bill Murray in the cult classic, ‘Groundhog Day’, you may be starting to feel a little hemmed in by all the repetition. Weekends are when you can break the cycle. Create a real contrast between weekend days and the working week. Set aside time to watch movies, play video or board games, or host a quiz with family or friends over a video call. If possible, order takeout so that you can have a break from cooking, too.

Create a Separate Workspace

When you have your laptop and other work tools set up in a communal area, the temptation can be great to just sit down and ‘get a little more done’ every time you pass by. If you can, create a workspace that is separate from your home’s general living area, do it! Got limited space? Pack away your equipment at the end of the work day. Oh, and pro tip: Don’t set up your work area near the kitchen…you don’t want the fridge becoming your shutdown BFF.

Wrapping It Up

These are uncertain times. Nobody really knows when they will end or when we will get back to normal, even if it’s a “new normal”. While you can’t control what is happening outside your window, you can control how you work from home. Incorporate these helpful tips into your work routine at home and you’ll get that work/home balance just right.

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