There are a lot of pros that come from working at home. Make your own hours, work in your robe, flexible schedule, and easy access to your fridge all day long. However, sometimes integrating your home life and your business can be stressful for yourself and the ones that have to live with you.
It’s one of the biggest challenges with working from home – how to separate work from home when you work from home. As a business owner it’s easy to justify working until 10 o’clock at night and 7 days a week because if you’re not working, no one else is.
When first starting my business this is something that I really struggled with. There’s always something to do or more work that can be perfected and i’m still guilty of opening my laptop early in the morning before the city is awake. I’m going to share with you some of the strategies that I use to keep my days structured so I can leave work at “work”.
This is a strategy that kind of developed on its own, but it’s helped to set boundaries for my work days. I wake up around the same time everyday, 6:45 – 7:00, make a cup of tea and sit down at my desk and then finish up around 4. At least twice a week I have a client meeting that I count in my “working hours”.
My advice is to set hours that work for your household. Realistic hours that allow you to feel productive throughout the day and enable you to enjoy the freedom of working from home.
To me, this is a very important part of working at home since i’m easily distracted. I’m fortunate that we have an extra room in our apartment that we’ve turned into an office and it’s helped a lot with separating work from home.
Even if you don’t have a separate room, having a designated space (not your kitchen table) that is where you work will eventually turn into a habit where you sit and work. If you can physically get up and make space between you and your work and it’s not in your living area, you’re less likely to continue to work past your set hours.
If you wrote down everything you wanted to accomplish every single day, let’s be honest, you would live at your desk. Once I realized that it was impossible to get my entire to do list done in one day (let alone a week) I started setting must do lists. A must do list is a smaller list from your giant to do list that you must finish that day.
By setting realistic tasks that can be completed by the end of your work day, you can finish on time and feel accomplished with completely a list. Remember that a bunch of little tasks lead to big accomplishments and that’s exactly the idea that i’m getting at. There will always be more work and if you’re constantly just trying to cross things off your big agenda, you’ll finish the day feeling discouraged and will feel guilty stopping work.
Here is a blog post with 5 methods to stay on track with your daily tasks
I started doing no electronics in the bedroom during my Yoga Teacher Training and it has stuck ever since. This has been the best thing for my health and separating work from home. Looking at a screen all day is already bad enough, but even when we’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram we’re still working! I can’t think of a worse way to start my day than rolling over and check my email (ugh, who’s guilty!?).
Your bedroom is a safe place for you to go to and live with your thoughts and wind down for the day. Being separated from your phone or laptop before bed and after you wake up for 5 minutes is not going to kill you.
I know what you’re thinking… “I need my phone to wake up”. Yeah, I get that, but it’s not an excuse. Get an alarm clock, remember those? Or plug your phone in on the opposite side of the room so you can’t just reach on your night stand and grab it. This is definitely a challenge but i’m telling you that after you do it for a week, you’ll be better rested and you’ll have more time to be disconnected from work.
Again, these are all strategies that I use in order to separate work from home on a daily basis. Doing these has helped tremendously in both my personal and professional life and I hope it helps you too!
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