If we had predicted that many South Africans, including yourself, would be working from home indefinitely back in January, you would have thought this year was set to be a breeze, right? Reality is a little different, though. Working from home has its challenges that can affect your life. Here five ways you can improve your work-life balance right now.

1. Set boundaries

Boundaries are a great way to create structure and look out for yourself. Without them, anything goes. Depending on the type of work you do, set boundaries regarding when you will work and when you will be off for the day. Don’t work around the clock. There will always be something to do, but you must take care of yourself to make sure that you are well-rested so that you can give your best when it is time to work.

2. Switch off

Before lockdown, we used to pack up and leave the office at the end of the day. Now that we’re working from home, it’s easier to keep working around the clock without even noticing. Remember how you used to feel if you worked for a long time without going on leave? You’ll soon feel like that if you don’t take a break. Prioritise and respect your personal time as much as you respect your work time.

  • Switch off your computer and put it away after work.
  • Clean your desk and pack away all work equipment and stationery.
  • Change into more comfortable home clothes.
  • If possible, leave the room you usually work in and go relax in another room.

3. Reconnect with loved ones

Even though you may be working in the same space at home with your loved ones, once you log on to your computer, you’re virtually in a different world. Reconnect after work. Talk about the challenges you faced, and share your victories, however small they may be. It can help bridge the gap work creates between you.

If you live alone, set aside time to video call your loved ones after work.

4. Pay attention to yourself

Working around the clock can take a toll on you. Recognise the signs that you’re tired and you need a break. If you notice that you’re more irritable, struggling to concentrate, or any other behaviour that is out of character for you, make time to find out how you are feeling.

5. Be intentional about resting

It’s easier to just sit in bed, streaming shows for hours on end, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the best rest. Routine can quickly become monotonous. Vary your relaxation activities. Try riding a bicycle or playing with your kids and pets outside.

Have a look at this post on activities to do at home during lockdown for ideas.