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Over the past year and a half, the dynamics of work-life have completely turned around. With most physical workspaces shutting down, remote working has become the foremost solution to ensure business continuity. And even as the vaccination drive moves forward in full swing, the new normal is about gradually gravitating towards a hybrid working style.

But does it pose any challenges? The answer is YES. Sanya Bhirani (26) was thrilled with the idea of going to a physical workspace three days a week and working from home on the remaining days. It worked well for a few weeks, but she soon felt that the flexibility was hurting her productivity. Moreover, her career goals started taking precedence over her personal well-being, which was evident in the lack of boundaries. After some trial and error, she found several small ways to change this situation. Here's what she said about it.

Striking a balance between personal and professional needs

Set realistic goals: It can truly get overwhelming when there are too many tasks to juggle. But setting realistic goals has helped increase productivity. Make a task list and prioritise the ones you need to complete on a given day. Finish all you can without exhausting yourself and leave the rest for the next day! Don’t take on more than you can handle because stressing yourself out unnecessarily doesn’t help.

Streamline chores: Next, try to streamline as many chores as you can. This means completing similar tasks in one go so that you spend less time on mundane things. For instance, I noted down all my monthly bills - rent, utility, etc., and earmark one day a month to complete these payments. Working from home means needing seamless internet and mobile connections. So, I signed up for an Airtel Black plan, which lets me combine both plans under a single bill, and that means making just one monthly payment. An additional benefit is that I have access to a dedicated relationship management team and priority resolution so that any issues I face are addressed almost immediately. Switching to the Black plan didn't cost anything extra and didn't even take much time. An existing customer can get an Airtel Black plan from the website, Thanks app, or an Airtel store within minutes.

Similarly, throughout the week, I maintain a list of things I am running low on and make one trip on the weekend to shop for them all. Even if it is home delivery, I try to restrict myself to once-a-week shopping sprees, which help save time that would otherwise be wasted.

Pre-plan work-from-office and work-from-home: Accounting for travel time on some days allows me to move certain tasks to the next day when I am working from home and have a little more time. I also use my travel time to catch up on calls or do something I enjoy - like listening to music or reading a book.

Don't bring work home: While it takes some effort, I try not to bring work home on office days. I use features like 'quiet hours' on my phone to not be distracted by late-night work messages or emails. Even on days that I work from home, I set a cut off time, log out of work accounts and physically move away from my laptop. Doing this gives me some time to accommodate tasks that come up out of the blue or I've missed to account for. If I'm lucky and there are no ad-hoc tasks, I use this little extra time for anything else I want to do - whether it is online shopping, watching a movie or going for a long walk.

The truth is, it isn't easy to draw the line between work and home in the current times. But it is important to attempt it if you want to create some pockets of "me-time". Whether it involves using specific apps or features, turning off your phone completely or using a planner, find ways to separate your personal and professional lives and stick to it. It's the only way to make hybrid working successful in the long run.

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