Achieving balance between our work life, personal life and online life has become harder and harder in recent years. Answer the following two questions (and be honest):
- How many hours are you in front of a screen – any type of screen, phones included – in a typical day?
- How regularly do your work and personal life mix, especially in the online world?
For example, how many times a day do you check work emails on your phone at home, outside of work hours, or on weekends? How often do you do a quick scan of Facebook or send a meme to a friend on your computer at work?
To give you an idea, if you have a smart phone and a tv, and you work in an office environment, it’s not unusual for us to hear answers like 10-12 hours a day, with work and personal commitment blurring throughout those times.
There is also ample evidence that those increasingly-blurring lines have a significant negative impact on our productivity, focus, stress levels and mental health.
We are now faced with the reality that most of us will have to work from home, and for an indeterminable amount of time. This has added a layer of complexity. Some common things you may feel at the moment are:
- A sense of isolation from your team, colleagues, work mates and organisation
- A lack of achievement, creativity and productivity
- Inability to focus on work tasks
- Generally low morale
- A feeling that you are at work all the time or not at all, which can create frustration and confusion
I’m fortunate enough to have worked as a consultant in education and management for the past 17 years. This means that I’ve had both the luxury and burden of working from home for nearly 2 decades. It means I’ve had plenty of opportunities to get things wrong.
It also means I’ve had plenty of time to learn what works.