Remote practices for better work-life balance

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After almost two years in pandemic conditions, working from home became a norm for even the most ingrained office-based companies. Considering the new state of the situation, we were wondering: how do people manage their work-life balance within these circumstances?

Telus International says that four out of five respondents have found it challenging to shut off work in the evenings.

Because of an eternal streak of Trello issues, Jira tasks, new JavaScript frameworks, hard-to-achieve project deadlines, Slack workspaces with thousands of messages, meetings, dozens of emails, it’s too tough to keep up with everything. And it would be best if you always were up to date. Software developers are extremely busy in our times, and being off for one day now means being off for two weeks. 

So, how to manage all these matters and happily combine your life with your work?

Here is some advice from Vstorm: 

Prioritization is core

We always want to stay up to date and keep up with everything. We want to read the latest articles, play the latest videogames, work with the latest frameworks, have a party with our friends, walk a dog and finally go shopping in that brand-new mall. 

Instead of trying to do everything right away, figure out which goals are most important to you. Label them by importance and focus on your top three ones. You should also limit the time you spend on the others or cut them off for better days. This is a painful suggestion, but you need to realize this: busy people have many priorities, productive people have few.

Eliminate your time eaters

You have more time than you think. When you’re trying to fulfill everything and feel yourself extremely overwhelmed by tasks – try to notice how much time you spend on social networks to “recharge” or how many series of that cartoon you watched to “let the brain relax.”

You may use specific tools like Toggl to track what you spend your time for. With that, you will be amazed how much time you spend on completely other stuff, not related to what you’re supposed to do.

Book extra time

Meeting after meeting, task after task, you swallow your lunch for 5 minutes and go to another meeting to immediately do another task. Stop it. Think about adding some extra time to your schedule. 

With that, we mean scheduling in more time than you think you’ll need for specific tasks. This is crucial because people are not so good at predicting, and tasks take longer than we think they will. So just simply add some additional time to prolong it, and don’t rush like a whippet. You will keep up with everything. 

Give yourself a rest.

When everyone is working remotely across different time zones – it’s tough to answer all messages from your colleagues and resolve all critical issues during your working hours. We encourage you to fully take time off when you’re done with your work. Avoid weekend communications unless necessary because you can’t recharge if you are constantly checking in and helping your co-workers to figure everything out. Willingness to help is a good trait, but only in moderation. 

Home is not an office.

In modern realities, we’re tied down with our PCs and laptops. To achieve transparent communication within the World Wide Web, we’re staring at monitors for hours each day to compensate for the lack of office interaction. 

At Vstorm, we strongly believe in walking meetings. Take your meetings with you by taking your phone and leaving your webcam at home. You may go to a café, enjoy a walk at some park, go to a shop or even walk your dog while having a word with your colleagues. Don’t be ingrained, be free and flexible as we are!

To conclude, just follow these principles to stay happy and balanced:

  • Prioritize your tasks 
  • Track what you spend your time for 
  • Book some additional time for your tasks 
  • Relax from work, and you’re not a robot 
  • More fresh air and places during meetings

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