WORK-LIFE BALANCE / MAY. 22, 2014
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How to Keep Your Personal Life Separate When Working From Home

When you decide to work from home, there are some things you need to consider. You should always have a balance with work and family as well as taking time for yourself. For example, you could get up early and get some work done, then go to the grocery store, or to the gym for an hour of work out and come back to get some more work done. You must separate personal life from work when you are a remote worker. It takes discipline to do this since your laptop and your content is always within reach. It will get overwhelming if you don’t take time out for personal things.

Buy An Extra Computer

If you are using one computer to do all your work including checking personal email and hanging out on your Facebook page, it is time to separate work from personal life. If you don’t, then you may find yourself spending quality family time on your computer for personal things rather than work. A good way to achieve this is to buy a computer that you use exclusively for work.

Take a Day Off

Make it a habit to choose a specific day when you take the entire day off. This may seem drastic, but if you work long hours from home, this is ideal. It gives you time to yourself and time for anything else that you have to do in your personal life. This doesn’t mean weekends, but if that is the only day off you can take, then do so. Most people who work full time 9-5 jobs have the luxury of a day off. You should too.

Create Separate Accounts

Be sure to create a separate work email address from your personal email as well or you will be spending more time answering personal email when you should be with your family. You should also do the same for social media accounts. For example if you have to use Twitter for work, create a separate Twitter account for personal interactions so that you can restrict your time spent on your personal Twitter account and spend more time with your family.

Your Business Phone Calls

Make sure you have a separate phone line for your business. You don’t want to be answering customer’s calls on your home phone while you are having dinner with your family. Moreover, a separate business phone line gives your business a more professional look when clients call. It also forces your clients to leave a message after hours.

When You Wake Up

When you get up in the mornings, don’t’ go straight to your laptop. Take some time to brew a cup of coffee. Sit down at the table with your partner and have breakfast with the kids. While your mind may be racing a mile a minute with the number of things you have to complete, family time is important. After you get the kids out the door to school or daycare and your partner goes off to work, take a shower to refresh yourself, get dressed and then you can begin work.

Take Breaks

Don’t sit at the computer for hours at a time. Take small breaks to go to the bathroom, to rest your eyes or to run an errand. You could even go to a cafeteria nearby or meet your partner for lunch. You could also take breaks to catch up on housework. Set scheduled down times and discipline yourself to work during certain hours. This is going to be difficult to maintain, but force yourself to do so.

Designate A Workspace

Make sure you designate a specific area for working so that when you are working, your kids and partner know not to disturb you. Once you step out of that workspace, you should have the mindset of personal downtime with family or break time to eat. Don’t eat food in your workspace or you will be working all day without a break for lunch. Don’t work with a television in your workspace either because this could be a distraction. When your work day ends, then you can watch television with your family.

Vacation Time

Take vacations and don’t bring work with you. You and your family deserve time away from home. This means that you have to take time away from work too. Other than checking your emails once a day and possibly returning important phone calls, this is the time when you need to relax. Vacation time is so sparse so take the time to enjoy it.

If you work at home, it can get quite exhausting, but it is best to set boundaries that you shouldn’t cross such as not working past a certain time. You should take time out to enjoy your flexibility and the convenience that this arrangement provides. Create healthy habits that foster a balanced lifestyle.

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