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Work/Home Balance: Navigating the New Normal

Normal is a pretty loaded word these days. What is normal now? Where did our routines go? Life has been turned upside down and we don’t recognize much of our ‘before’ lives anymore. Your work/home balance can mean the difference between sanity and disaster right now. 

Work/Home balance has been a topic of conversation for many years now. In this unprecedented time of blending home and work, this discussion has become even more relevant and important. Kids of all ages are at home, we have unexpected officemates with unnerving concerns and attitudes, and the way we do business has had to adapt ever so quickly. No more meetings in person; constant teleconferencing is a huge challenge. As we try to navigate through these challenges, it doesn’t have to be a time for just survival. It is possible to find systems that support your work and keep you sane through the process. Here is how…

Manage your Mindset

Priority number one: keep your sanity and manage your mindset. We all are feeling overwhelmed and frantic at times. Those feelings can lead to unfocused and poorly thought out actions that we later regret. 

We can’t control what’s happening in the world right now, but we can control how we show up. Frame your thought processes from a positive point of view. Instead of saying, “This just can’t work,” ask, “How can I make this work?” This puts you control, and you will not feel overwhelmed in your world. 

Remember to carve out time every day to activities that keep you balanced: exercise, being outdoors, taking walks, meditation, or prayer, or yes, even tending your plants.  Even when we are at home, we need moments to focus on our own wellbeing. That’s what work/home balance is all about. 

Reset your Expectations

Comparing your old schedule and productivity to your current capabilities will only lead to self-judgment. We often believe that this negative self-talk will motivate us, but it does the exact opposite. Set realistic goals, both at home and at work, and pick your battles, especially at home. Certainly, make requests and share your needs, but give grace. Everyone is struggling in the same way that you are, so a little understanding goes a long way. Surround yourself with positive people that can help and not bring you down. Remember, “It takes a village.” Choose your village wisely. 

Define Top Priorities

It is time to get crystal clear on your priorities as our long days at home often result in less productive time.  Will you be serving existing clients, creating systems, or increasing your sales? Or maybe your priorities have changed, and you want to be present with your family more. Without this clarity, you will not be able to intentionally direct your time, energy, and attention. Take time to figure out your goal for the day and organize your time to make it work. 

Focus on One Thing

Now, more than ever, it’s time to practice constraint and become comfortable saying the magic word, “no.” Refer back to your priorities and decide on one thing you can accomplish this week. 

Despite having more flexible time, many of us feel more distracted than ever. Working parents are navigating their children’s learning via Zoom on laptops in their living rooms. This alone requires discipline and organization of time and energy. Just be careful not to take on multiple, half-completed projects. Completing small goals can give us a feeling of accomplishment that will drive us forward. Focus on what’s important every day and accomplish just that. Look at what’s working and what’s not and make adjustments. This is not a time to go on autopilot. Quite the opposite! Honor and acknowledge this season of change and look for opportunities for growth. It will change your attitude. And remember, give grace to yourself and others! 

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