How to avoid stress when managing my workload from home
During these last few months, there have been significant changes made to our lives- many of which we are not used to. At first, it may have seemed like this virus was a phase that we could overcome fast, but as time passes it is evident that until a cure is found we will have to adapt our day-to-day lives in accordance with the social distancing measures. This can be particularly difficult, since the majority of the LSTV team specialise in the creative industry, whereby we film content on a daily basis and edit in our spare time. Because of this, not only are we placed in a situation where we have to switch to alternative means of content production (such as web interviews on Zoom or Google Hangouts), but we also have to work from home. This can become problematic if we do not acquire the adequate work/life balance, we may end up with unhealthy working habits that do not account for a form of “me-time”. In this article, I will be walking you through three strategies that LSTV members (or anybody who will be working from home) can develop in order to avoid excess stress whilst managing workload from home.
Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
The first strategy, and the most important one from my perspective, is for you to re-structure your priorities. Before the introduction of the social distancing measures, many of us would sacrifice early-morning breakfasts or mindfulness activities for the sake of not running late. However, these days, it is more important than ever for you to prioritise activities that will keep you sane for the months to come. For instance, I am utilising my time by beginning every day with a 6am morning walk in my local park. That way, when I come back home to begin my exam revision, I start with a fresh mind and a healthy body! Whilst in the past you had an excuse to avoid making important changes to your routine, this is no longer the case and during this difficult period it is essential for you to find coping mechanisms that work for you. Try to spend this time to learn more about yourself and what helps you to get through the day with minimal stress. Restructuring priorities does not only account for creating to-do lists for your working day, your mental and physical health are in need of your attention!
Routines and Productivity (or lack of)
The second strategy is to gain control over your daily routine. As we all know, the COVID19 pandemic has created chaos in our personal lives. You might have many tasks to complete by the end of the month, but at the same time you are not in the right headspace to begin working on them. One tip I would give to the readers is to ensure that you break down the tasks and also account for periods of rest. Forgive yourself if you are being unproductive, the fact that you want to better yourself (through reading a book, editing videos or studying etc) is an accomplishment in itself. It shows that you want to get back control and grow as a person. Therefore, when you are not in your best condition, be kind to yourself! Try to stick to a routine, but the routine does not need to be one that only focuses on superficial means of productivity. A productive routine also includes “me-time”- allocating time in your day to watching a movie or going for a walk are just as important as editing videos or contributing towards an extracurricular activity.
A Clean Workspace
The final strategy is to separate your workspace from your resting place. I am certain that you have heard of this tip many times, but I cannot stress how important this is for your mental health in the long-term. You need to allocate somewhere in your house to your work, which includes studying or editing videos, as it can help you to avoid excess stress of being unproductive when you are resting. Designating an area to such activities will mean that you will also improve your focus and also avoid blurring up the boundaries between your work and your resting life. Whilst editing videos may be your passion- you do need to ensure that you allocate time in your day to resting and enjoying your other hobbies. That way you can avoid excess stress AND improve your productivity levels. I began using my desk for academics and extracurriculars recently, and I can guarantee that this tip is extremely useful. Initially I did not understand why this was always over-emphasised, but after using this tip during quarantine, I now understand why this was the case. So you should try it out for yourself!
Whilst this article will not provide a comprehensive account of how you can maintain a work/life balance, what I hope I established was the importance of self-care. When the entire world is being harsh on us, we need to be the first ones to protect ourselves! It is so important for you to find ways to cope with the pandemic, and what might work for someone may not work for you, but you have time to experiment with different strategies and spend the next few months learning more about your preferences. So take this time as an opportunity for self-growth and self-care.
Words by Freshta Rasoul.