• Phyllis Harbinger

How to maintain a work/life balance during COVID

Whether you own a firm or are an invested employee, it is difficult for creatives to strike a balance between our work and our personal lives. Now more than ever, due to COVID 19 and our hybrid and/or remote work venues, it is even more challenging.

The never-ending to-do lists, technology that delivers a heavy influx of email/text and other messages, not to mention the struggle to stay ahead of constantly evolving technology. Add to the mix, a make-shift office or the fear of being in an office with a larger group, donning a mask and dealing with family members and furry people and you could have a recipe for disaster. I know this actually makes even the most “buttoned-up” person feel overwhelmed!

With the increasing number of demands we face daily, especially during this Pandemic, it’s important to remember that as the heart, soul and brains of your business, you must sustain your energy and talent. To make this happen, you must find work-life balance. While we all have a unique way of working and processing, I wanted to share the tips below to help you do just that.

1. Prioritize Daily

While I use a project management tool called Asana, I could still work day and night and not finish my ever-growing list of tasks and demands—so don’t bother trying. Really?? Don’t try. NO!!!! Instead of attempting to reach an unattainable goal, try this: every morning, choose three or four goals from your list—mixing business and personal—and make it your priority to finish those tasks no matter what happens. You’ll end the day satisfied by having met your goals and energized to tackle the next day.

2. Establish Boundaries

Those of you who receive my Newsletter or have attended my live and recorded presentations know that I am a huge fan of establishing boundaries. This tactic is even more important now – during the pandemic. While it generally comes easier to a more seasoned business person, it can also work for newbies. This is the time when you must take a hard look at your client list and/or your work flow and determine who are your PIAs (those that drain your energy and resources.) Be kind to yourself and practice self-love by firmly but politely refusing their business in order to free up time to concentrate on your personal life and the yummy Ideal clients who actually bring you joy, not stress.

3. Delegate

I am a firm believer in empowering others to do the things you do not love to do and that you may not be great at doing. If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll be so buried in work that you’ll never see the end of it. This all-consuming mindset might work temporarily while you’re setting up shop, but if you want to have a balanced life, determine those tasks that only you can do well and focus on doing them. Delegate those jobs that someone else can do just as well or better than you. This will allow you to finish your workday on time or early so you can get home to your personal life.

4. Creating a Home Office

Design your office space so it’s focused on work. You’ll only make yourself stressed and tense if you have a file folder from the office sitting in the living room when you’re trying to relax with the family. In addition, keep personal items to a minimum as they will likely remind you about your family and home duties, and you will end up feeling regretful about not being there and spending time with them. Instead, keeping yourself focused on work enables you to be more efficient so you can finish and “go home.”

5. Be kind to yourself – take baby steps

When you set out to create a balanced life, it requires that you start with gradual changes.

Establishing a work-life balance might seem impossible initially, but if you take it slowly when it comes to rebalancing your life, you’re likely to find yourself in a calmer, more content state of mind.

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