Working remotely has it’s perks (can you say “zero commute?”) But when your home is also your office, separating your work life and your personal life can be a challenge. And without that separation, work 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 that are just as important (like your self-care, family, friends, and hobbies.)
Keeping your work life from infringing on your personal life is a must 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.
Work Parallel Schedules
When you work 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 (for example, doing work while the kids are at school or during the hours your spouse is at work) will allow you to get things done but still have time to connect.
Set a Firm Stopping Point
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, organizational psychologist and 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
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, 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, like your laptop and work phone behind. In other words, literally and figuratively, shut the door on work so that you can pursue personal projects, family time, or just good, old-fashioned relaxing without feeling the pull of the office.
When you work from home, it’s so easy to be tuned 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.
We hope these tips help you navigate your home and work life with ease. Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you find ways to find a balance between working and relaxing. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.