How to Balance Work and Life During COVID-19

We’re all familiar with the term “work/life balance.” It’s something we all struggle to achieve during even normal circumstances.

At Rainmaker, we’ve talked in the past about the concept of work/life integration instead of work/life balance. Why use this term instead? The word balance implies a perfect 50/50 split between our work obligations and our personal obligations, something which is just not realistic for most people. Instead, it’s about give and take.

At times, your responsibilities at work will be your highest priority; at other times, you may need to focus less on tasks so you can make an essential personal obligation. The key is to recognize that priorities will shift with each day and each new responsibility and that you can’t set any hard and fast rules for which will come first. It’s about evaluating the situation you’re currently in and letting go of the guilt for putting one over the other. Chances are in a few days the tables will turn, and the other side of your life will be the priority.

While this is a great way to look at things during normal circumstances, we aren’t living in normal conditions. So much has changed in our lives in just a short amount of time. Offices and non-essential workplaces have closed. Children are home from school and daycares. Many of you are struggling to adjust quickly to working remotely, learning new tools such as Zoom, and dealing with brand new distractions during the day, such as children.

There is no clear divide between work and life right now, and both sides of your life have significantly changed. So how do you begin to work on successful work/life integration?

Dedicate a space to work. Not all of us have a home office but try to find a room or area to dedicate to work and work only right now. Even better, try to find a room with a door. Heading to and from the office helps our brains switch in and out of work mode; since that’s not possible right now, dedicating a workspace will help create a clear distinction between work mode and life mode. Keep that space as neat as possible. Messiness can create distractions, and with your routine already affected so much, you want to limit distractions as much as possible.

Understand that you likely won’t eliminate distractions and forgive yourself for it. Our lives have been thrown into chaos and uncertainty. The routines we’re familiar with are no longer possible. If you have young children at home, chances are you’ll get pulled away from work more than you’d like. If possible, try to find a new schedule around your new distractions. Be transparent with your leaders and coworkers. Is it possible to work more at night after young children have gone to bed than during the day? The most important thing right now is to stay flexible and learn to work around the changes in your daily routine.

And lastly, get outside when you can. Staying cooped up in our houses day after day can greatly affect our mood. When you can, take a break from your house or apartment and take a walk, play with the kids, do some yard work or gardening, or just sit outside for a bit. Your mind and mood will greatly appreciate the change of scenery.

COVID-19 Resources

If you are struggling to adjust to using Zoom or having problems with the platform, we have created guides to help you:

Getting Started on Zoom

How to Test Zoom

We have also created a list of Business Resources to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are updating this list constantly.

Rainmaker is committed to supporting you through the current COVID-19 situation and always. We want to be a valuable resource that you can call upon at any time to help assist you through any challenges or uncertainties you have.

Megan Brooks