Shari Pearlman is the Assistant Director at the Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia. She has been helping women lawyers in so many aspects of their practice, one in particular is how to set and keep boundaries with work and home. An important topic where small changes in everyday tasks can create big changes to one's peace of mind. We asked for her expertise and she has shared some easy tips that everyone can use.
Let’s start with the workspace itself, many people likely know that an organized space helps keep people focused on their work and tasks by lowering distractions around them. The same rule applies to working from home. If possible, try and create a workspace where you’re able to spread out your work if required, but then tuck it away at the end of the day. Whether that’s closing the door to an office, or physically closing a laptop and tucking it away in a drawer. The physicality of knowing that the work is “put it away,” helps with creating a mental finality to the workday being done.
Sometimes when we’re working from home, we need to take breaks and help kids, parents, pets etc. Note for yourself on a sticky note or in your apps folder, how much time you’ve worked before helping others. This way if you are taking a break and then going back to your work to finish in the evening, you know how much time you’ve already put into your work. This isn’t just important for the busy and overworked moms of the world, but also for the single folks that have difficulty motivating themselves to get work done when sometimes we feel like we have too much time in the day but not using it too well.
When you are taking breaks (which are important), on the same sticky note, leave yourself a note of where you left off your work and your train of thought on what you were going to do next. This way, you can properly take a break without constantly ruminating about what you were about to get started on. Free up that mind space and know that when you physically get back to the workstation, you will know what you want to get done first without wasting time getting back to it.
Shari Pearlman has so many other tips and tricks she shares in her Time Management and Boundary workshops. You can find more information here: www.lapbc.com/events.
This article was written by Arshdeep Sandhu and originally published in the Winter 2021/2022 CBABC Women Lawyers Forum Newsletter.