The Secret To Successful Work/Life Balance When You Work From Home

This morning I facilitated a virtual mini-workshop for the Resource Alliance as part of its Plan C Online Discussions. The workshop, Work/Life Balance: Tips Fundraisers During A Pandemic included fundraisers from many different countries. The interactive workshop focused on personal resilience tips based on my book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit.  (The recording and resources can be found here)

One question that came up was about how to avoid overworking as a result of the stress by the situation or if your manager expects that you will be in front of your screen at all hours because you don’t have anyplace to go.

One thing I shared was the importance of creating a “shutting down from work,” ritual.  When your work commute is down the hall versus across town to an office, the lines between work and personal life become blurred. Also, because everything is virtual – from socializing to zoom team meetings – it is hard shift gears.  We lack transition time. Unless you set good boundaries, you can find yourself working all the time and not having any downtime.

Having a ritual that lets you make the pivot work to home life can help.  My ritual is to have an alarm go off at the end of my workday.  It is my 15 minute warning bell.  I write up a list of what I need to do the next day and then shut down my laptop and put it away, out of site.  I’ve also turned off all alerts on my phone and put in the charging station.  This signals that it now time to shift into family time. 

Here are some more ideas for shutdown rituals.

My colleague, Marco Kuntz, mentioned a computer mouse that can be programmed to run and hide from you at a scheduled time.Certainly that is another way to create a boundary between work and personal life.  And this blog post provides some tips for rituals to avoid WFH burnout.

How are you make the shift from work to personal when everything is virtual?

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