Because of social distancing, many people are working remote for the first time ever. One of the biggest complaints I hear from first time work-at-homers is that it’s difficult to separate work life and home life. Especially now, with children homeschooling, and many people with a full house during the day, it can be hard to separate the two.
Here are 3 tips to help you keep your work life separate from your home life when working at home.
- Work from one space, and tell your family or roommates that you are “going to work” when you enter that space. Mentally, working from the same place every day will help you get in the work mode versus wanting to relax or do chores. The best work space is a a quiet room with a desk and upright chair. Try to resist the temptation of working from bed or working from the couch. This will subconsciously make you feel tired or unmotivated because your body is used to relaxing in these spaces. It also helps to work in a room with good lighting to help you feel alert and awake in your workspace.
- Create boundaries and ask your family or roommates to respect them. Close the door to your workspace when you are unable to have distractions, and ask your family not to disturb you when the door is closed. Schedule time for lunch, and refrain from doing laundry or dishes during business hours.
- Don’t overschedule and be sure to stick to your schedule. It can be tempting to login to work first thing when you wake up in the morning to get a jumpstart on your busy workday, but try to wait until 8 AM. Give yourself time in the morning to shower, eat, drink a cup of coffee, or do those things you would normally do before leaving the house for work. It will help you mentally prepare for the day, and it will help you separate your work time from your personal time. Log off at 5 PM, and only respond to truly urgent emails after hours. Many people are working longer hours because they have a hard time sticking a start and stop time schedule. If you don’t give yourself a schedule to stick to, then you will end up working too much and you’ll risk burn out.