Working remotely has its perks (can you say “zero commutes?”). But when your home is also your office, separating your work life and your personal life can be a challenge. And without that separation, working remotely can start spreading throughout your home and invading the rest of your life. Not to mention the psychological effect, making it hard to disengage, and spend time on other things. This includes self-care, family, friends, and hobbies that are just as important.
Keeping your work life from infringing on your personal life is a must; especially if you want to feel like you’re thriving, healthy, and balanced. But how exactly do you do that? Here are a few tips from the Ignite Your Potential award-winning coaches to help with working remotely.
Work Parallel Schedules
When you work around the clock from home—and do so around the clock—it can feel like you and your family are ships passing in the night. The best way to combat this? Keep similar schedules. “I work on my business while my husband is at work. That gives me 10 hours to do my thing,” says Anna Kat Napier, founder of Boss Girl Launch Pad. “I need to be able to stop my work when he gets home so that we can catch up with each other and spend dinnertime together,”. Scheduling parallel hours will allow you to get things done. For example, doing work while the kids are at school or during the hours your spouse is at work. In the end, you’ll still have time to connect.
Set a Firm Stopping Point When Working Remotely
It’s easy to tell yourself “just five more minutes” or “just one more email.” But working crazy hours can throw your body out of whack. “Your body is used to operating on a schedule,” says Kim Perkins. She is not only an organizational psychologist but also a chief behavioral scientist at work and culture consulting firm NOBL. “Kids get up at the same time, they go to school at the same time, and this builds rhythms and habits—and it’s very easy to know what you’re supposed to be doing and when you’re supposed to be doing it. Even as adults, we need that for a sense of consistency—because otherwise it just takes too long to figure out where we are and what we’re supposed to be doing.” Setting a firm stopping point every day—and sticking to it—will help you keep from overworking.
Shut the Office Door While Working Remotely
Ever heard of the saying “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, that also applies to your workspace.
“One of the tricks I use to separate my personal from professional life while I work from home is to shut my office door during weekends,” says Angela Zade. She is a digital marketing manager for travel software company Trondent Development Corp. It’s her way of communicating to herself: “The Office Is Closed!”. If you use a dedicated room as your home office, step away at the end of the day, and leave all your work gear. This includes leaving your laptop and work phone behind. In other words, literally and figuratively, shut the door on work so that you can pursue other things. Things such as personal projects, family time, or just good, old-fashioned relaxing without feeling the pull of the office.
When working from home, it’s so easy to tune into work 24/7. But remember, your home is your home first—and your office second. And if you want the work-life balance you desperately crave, you need to treat it that way.
Want more advice on powering your brain up? The coaches at Ignite Your Potential are here to help. Reach out and take advantage of our complimentary 25-minute phone sessions.
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