University Students have worked from home before, it is one of the positives of higher education, but the pandemic meant that working from home has become the new reality for many and is often no longer a choice. By taking away this choice, it has now become far more of a challenge to create and maintain a work-life balance than ever before.
It can be difficult to separate work mode and play mode when they are both happening in the same house, let alone the same room, which is the case for many students.
How do you put aside mountains of coursework to relax when you can literally see it sitting there on your desk? How can you switch off when normal life distractions are unavailable due to restrictions?
Well, working from home definitely comes with its challenges, but here are a few tips that might help you to find some more balance and better look after your wellbeing in these challenging times.
The weather is starting to get a little less Baltic and every day it is staying lighter for longer, which I really believe is going to make things just that bit easier.
So, if you are feeling unmotivated, tired or even just bored, get outside. You don’t need to go far, sometimes just a 10-minute walk is all it takes.
However, if you do fancy going a bit further, and live in the Nottingham area, then you could take a trip to the deer park or Attenborough reserve, both of which are beautiful. Alternatively, if you are at home, find your local beauty spots and take the time to appreciate them.
Deciding what hours you dedicate to work and play may help to alleviate the guilt many of us feel when not working
Plan your day
Creating a plan for your day, one that is realistic and sets out time frames that you know you can work to, can really help to create a work-life balance.
If you know that you are a morning person, plan your day to start early, meaning that come 5pm you can leave your desk knowing that you have spent your allotted time working.
Alternatively, if you know you work best later on in the day, plan to start working at 4pm and have your down time before. Deciding what hours you dedicate to work and play may help to alleviate the guilt many of us experience when not working, as we feel that we have earnt our relaxation time.
Letting other people know these timeframes can also be helpful. That way, during your work hours, they will be able to dissuade you from baking another banana bread, but come 5pm, they will be telling you that you’ve earnt your baking time and a Paul Hollywood handshake.
However, you choose to be creative, the choice is yours
Being creative can be a great way to relax and find your work-life balance. Creativity looks different for everyone. For you, it may be drawing, baking, cooking, sewing or knitting.
However, you choose to be creative, the choice is yours. When getting creative, you’ll be able to make something to show for your down time, something entirely separate from work and something you find fun to do.
Creating something physical can bring a real sense of achievement, this may also help to offset the potential feelings of guilt that many students experience when not working.
Studies have shown that trying to work outside of regular working hours ultimately leads to worse productivity and burn out, something I am sure we all want to avoid.
This is why it is so important to take the time to look after our wellbeing and create a work-life balance that really is properly balanced, allowing us to succeed in a way that doesn’t damage our health or happiness.
So, take the time this week to consider your own work-life balance and anything you can do to make it even just that little bit better.
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