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Maintaining a work-life balance during a pandemic

Tracey Dube certified transformational life coach and founder of Positive Minds Africa

Although eased, strict lockdown regulations are still apart of our lives. For some, this means working from home full time, helping the kids with schoolwork, and managing physical and mental wellbeing.

One would think after a year of juggling work and personal life at home, we would be experts by now. However, balancing professional life, personal life, and family is complicated, especially under the current covid-19 restrictions.

Achieving balance is essential for our wellbeing. When you feel out of balance, it may indicate that certain aspects of your life are neglected, including physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

Research shows that the lack of a healthy work-life balance leads to stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression.

Other signs that your life is out of balance may include a weakened immune system, unhappiness, irritability, no time for hobbies, neglecting personal relationships, and constantly thinking about work.

The concept of having a balanced life may seem elusive, but it’s possible. Here are different ways you can achieve a work-life balance during and post covid-19.

Think about what is important to you

As a starting point, it’s crucial to evaluate what is important to you. Ask yourself the following questions: What are my core values, and what do I want to achieve? If your core values and life goals are not aligned with how you currently live your life, you may be out of balance.

With this in mind, begin to define what a work-life balance looks like for you by setting your priorities.

When you focus your time and energy on what matters the most, not what is urgent or what will you give you instant gratification, it will lead to a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

Prioritize time for yourself

Mental health is at the forefront of conversations during the pandemic. Corporates are even implementing strategies to prioritise employee wellbeing as numbers continue to show that a healthy employee is a productive employee.

Prioritizing time for yourself is not only good for your mental health but also your physical and spiritual wellbeing. To do this successfully, you should insert time in your schedule for activities that promote your wellbeing. This may include self-care remedies like meditation, physical exercise, hobbies, taking time to learn a new skill or any activity that boosts your energy levels or recharges your brain.

Improve your productivity

We’ve glorified being busy for many years because ‘busy’ gives one a false sense of esteem. But research shows that the global pandemic has shifted the way many people view life. We are beginning to take responsibility for our lives and what’s meaningful to us. This includes being productive instead of busy, so we have more time to focus on other critical things in our lives.

To improve your productivity, audit your time by tracking how long it takes you to complete tasks at work and home. Is it possible that you could do specific tasks in less time by limiting distractions such as social media, reading the news, or checking emails every five minutes?

When you improve your productivity, you can enhance your work-life balance.

Create some boundaries

Achieving a work-life balance may require you to create some boundaries. For example, you may decide not to check or respond to emails after 18h00, or you are inaccessible in the mornings between 06h00 and 09h00.

Without boundaries, you’ll find yourself being pulled in one direction or aspect of your life. To create boundaries, you must learn to politely say no when something is not a priority at that particular time. In the beginning, it may feel uncomfortable, but people will respect you even more when you have boundaries.

Attaining a work-life balance is not about making drastic decisions but taking small steps that will radically transform the quality of your life. You can do it all, just not at the same time.

Tracey Dube is a certified transformational life coach and founder of Positive Minds Africa.



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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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