A zen guide to work-life balance while multi-tasking chores, zoom calls, upskilling, workout, cooking, and anxiety when working from home.
The past six months have catapulted us into a cocktail of unprecedented events. While we longed for work from home while commuting to work, little, did we know how it would affect our mental health? Lengthy bouts of isolation, the fear of uncertainty, increasing pressure from work have made us quite vulnerable and have thrown the notion of work-life balance out of the window.
Is there a way out of this madness? Yes, and the answer lies in Zen Philosophy.
1. Being mindful while upskilling
You are washing dishes; the cooker is whistling away, mobile is buzzing with multiple alerts, and a zoom call is about to start in another five minutes—a typical day of working from home. Take a breather; our mind is not as right as multitasking as we think it is.
Take a break, do one thing at a time, and while you do it, learn to be mindful. Focus on being present at the moment, like turn off everything else while you wash dishes. Observe how rhythmically the water flows, how you align the plates in the basket, and before you know it, the work is over without you feeling bored or overwhelmed. Next, tackle that machine learning course which you’ve been eyeing on, slowly and mindfully.
2. Procrastinating between courses
While you try hard to maintain work-life balance, there are times when you should stop fretting over clothes to be taken out of the washing machine. Let them be, laze around, and do nothing for a while.
The study says procrastination is the key to problem-solving. Here’s a very informative talk about it by Andrea Jackson.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re thinking that you’re wasting your time while working from home. You are doing just the opposite.
If you’ve not decided on what other courses you’d like to do, it’s fine, just chill. Just browse till you make up your mind about an MBA.
3. Be empathetic, gift a course
The idea of work-life balance is lost on some bosses who are unknowingly putting their workforce to log in more than 12 hours of work time. That does not mean that you’ve to do the same with your team; remember everyone is equally stressed and anxious.
How about having an informal chai session to break the monotony of work calls? Just let everybody have a friendly banter, meet their kids or pets, understand, and learn how they are adjusting in these surreal times.
Empathy is the need of the hour; the more you cultivate it, the better you’ll try to make things around you. Call up your domestic help if you haven’t spoken to her since the lockdown, sometimes a simple courtesy call can make someone feel nice.
Some of the very young workforces are out of work, and now is an excellent time to help out your cousin who dropped out for lack of money to pursue an online graduation course, it is that convenient now. upGrad has many such courses on offer.
4. Just breathe and focus
Your mind has zillions of thoughts passing through it every second; there’s that to-do list to refer to and that course you need to update on, deciding on what to make for lunch, etc.
Working from home had its upside when you thought it was going to be for a fixed period, but not anymore, no one knows when.
Sleep is broken, exercise is erratic, courses are half-finished yet, you are plowing through the day without giving much thought. Between all of this, there is one crucial thing you have forgotten, though you’re doing it passively, breathing.
Are you feeling restless? Notice how you’re breathing, the minute you correct it; you’ll know the difference. Max Strom, who has been teaching breath-work for over 20 years, tells about the healing power of breath.
To understand how breathing consciously helps us to feel better and focus well, here’s his most viewed Ted Talk.
5. Let go of the uncertainties
Working from home, you thought you could do it all. Exercise to lose those extra kilos, make that sourdough starter, catch-up on Dark final season along with a zillion other things. The work-life balance went for a toss as fast as Usain Bolt; it is nobody’s fault.
We have all been told by high achieving social media nerds that lockdown is the time to work on self. Signing up for free classes, courses while balancing increasing work demands, you forgot that there were 24 hours in a day, you need to sleep for at least 8-9 hours. Not everything can be added into the waking hours. You need to let go of the pressure to bake that banana bread if you don’t have time.
Let go of the pressure that wants you to be an elite performer 24×7; you don’t have to. Find your pace, do things at a pace you are comfortable in, and courses you’re truly interested in.
6. Make that call
Between numerous zoom video calls, online events, and courses, maintaining work-life balance has become a difficult task. When weekdays are blurring the leisurely pace of weekends, and 8 hours are stretching to more than 12 hours, it is natural to forget what day or hour it is.
If there is a course you’ve been thinking about but not sure whether to take it up or not, it would be wise to take some time out and call the counselor who can guide you with the details.
Zen is nothing but being mindful and in the moment. There is no moment better than today for the ones who want to upgrade their qualifications/skills. upGrad to learn something new.
While you are saving a lot of traveling time, it is best to upskill yourself with the latest technologies. Checkout upGrad’s top courses in Data Science, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, MBA from LBS & Full Stack Development.
Is working from home difficult?
Working from home is now no longer uncommon. Earlier it was considered a kind of privilege to have the option to work from home. But now, as it gains mainstream importance, many people have started missing the days when they could go to the office and work. This is because work from home is often riddled with discomforts and difficulties. Along with its many advantages, people complain about work-life imbalance – many have started working longer hours than they would at the office, leaving them unhappy and dissatisfied. Some say they feel very isolated and would instead work at the office with colleagues surrounding them.
Is an ergonomic chair suitable for your work from home setup?
Yes, you can buy an ergonomic chair for your work from home setup. Ergonomic chairs are designed scientifically to help you sit in the correct posture for the longest periods of time when you are busy working away at your desk. Unlike standard chairs, you can adjust these ergonomic chairs to make yourself comfortable and as per your seating preferences. Ergonomic chairs have been observed to help people feel more productive at work and satisfied with it. And very importantly, these chairs help maintain the right posture of your spine as well as the alignment of your pelvis and hip, thereby preventing back pain and other health conditions, and reducing muscle injuries.
Are standing desks good for you?
Standing desks are designed to allow you to stand and work instead of sitting down. These desks are gaining rapid popularity worldwide due to their so-called health benefits. According to researchers, there is no solid proof to confirm that standing desks can help prevent weight gain. But it can be a good change to sometimes stand and work, in between sitting for long hours. Standing and working help burn more calories and might also reduce the risk of back and shoulder pain. However, balancing your time between sitting and standing while working is the key.