7 Tips to Create a “New Normal” to be Productive, Balanced and Sane

As creatures of habit, disrupting our daily routine can cause tremendous stress. On top of this stress, many of us are grappling to effectively work at home. Working at home can leave you feeling less productive due to multitasking and managing many distractions. And working at home can make you prone to burnout because you never stop working. Hours blend into days that blend into weeks, leaving us feeling simultaneously under accomplished and overwhelmed. 

The good news is, by embracing simple practices, you can establish a new normal that is both productive and balanced as well as establish new habits that better support your sanity and well-being even after the coronavirus ends. Afterall, the way you structure your daily routine during this crisis will shape the kind of person you become on the other side. Try these tips to create a new normal to be productive, balanced and sane today and in the future.

7 Tips to Create a New Normal to be Productive, Balanced and Sane

  1. Discuss as a family the expectations for what should be accomplished each day. Having understanding and commitment up front from each family member on what is expected of them to make the day run smoothly will help reduce nagging and bickering throughout the day.
  • Develop a morning routine and stick with it. Order and predictability brings a sense of calm and completing small things early on in the day helps us feel sense of accomplishment. Set a morning routine (e.g. work out, catch up on news, make bed, eat breakfast, get dressed).
  • Reflect on purpose and intentions for the day. Identify one thing to accomplish in the day that would make it a good day. Setting a simple, yet positive goal helps to give your day focus and helps you to feel empowered. Before diving into tasks at hand, take a minute to reflect on your personal why for what you do. Keeping the big picture in mind helps to give your work purpose and meaning.
  • Build in formal breaks throughout the day. Have a formal lunch break to minimize continual snacking and to squeeze in quality time with others. Build in time to stretch or walk or get outside to recharge your mind and body between tasks.
  • Set boundaries so you can focus. To the extent possible, crease a dedicated workspace that is separated from the main part of your house. It’s important to have some sort of physical boundary when working from home — ideally away from your bed, kitchen, and TV. In addition, reinforce with your kids the difference between family time and work time. When you’re with your kids, be with them and when you’re working, ask your kids to be patient. Encourage them to be independent and self-reliant as must as possible by leaving easy to do games and activities out, having a bowl with activity suggestions that they can pick when bored and leaving lots of finger foods and healthy snacks on the counter that they can get on their own.
  • Be disciplined with a cut off for the night. Maintain healthy work life balance by shutting off work so you can invest in the relationships around you. Build in new family routines to make the most of your time together (e.g. movies, games, walk, cook together).
  • Get plenty of sleep. Things always feel more positive and possible when you are well rested.

For more information about ways to stay balanced, check out my new course: Be Your Best Without Burning Out

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Beth Ridley is a former corporate executive turned organizational transformation consultant, speaker and author. Beth combines 25 years of global leadership and management consulting experience with expertise in diversity and inclusion and positive psychology to partner with leaders to transform workplace cultures to better achieve their vision and goals. Beth’s work is featured in national publications and she frequently delivers keynotes and workshops at events around the world. Beth lives with her husband and three children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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