Separating Work & Home When You're Working from Home
#WorkFromHome day what?
Hellooo beautiful people! Sitting down to write this blog, it really dawned on me how much I struggled in the beginning and how much I’m STILL struggling to separate home life from work life when you’re forced to combine both in one environment.
I’ve been working remotely from home for about three weeks, and while it’s not something completely new to me (my previous job required work from home days as well), it’s still something I found to be a challenge.
My biggest struggle was staying concentrated and separating work priorities from home chores or engagement with family throughout my work hours. Maybe it’s something about being in a more relaxed environment where I can wear pajamas all day, but I realized within the first week of working from home that I had to make serious changes if I wanted to be productive during “work hours”. So, long story short, I want to share a few things I’ve done to help stay motivated and focused during “work hours” in the hopes that you can use them if you’re also someone struggling to maintain this separation.
1. Work Hours - You may or may not have to be present during set times of the day for you job, but for me, I’m technically on the work clock from 9am - 5pm with an hour lunch break. So that means being accessible by phone, email, texts, etc. in case anyone needs to reach me from my job. If you don’t have a more strict schedule for working from home, it’s a good idea to set specific times throughout your day that you work on anything you need to do. This could mean a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening with a break in-between. The goal is to keep your day-to-day schedule as similar as it was when you were working in an office-type space.
2. Designated Office/Work Space - Setting a space in your home that everyone knows is your “office” while working from home is so important. For one, it should be separate from entertainment rooms where people tend to hang out in your home (living room, kitchen, family rooms). This way, you limit the amount of distractions that could come from someone wanting to share a space with you to watch tv or entertain. It should be a quieter room or section of a room that has a space for a folding table or a desk. Working from your bed should never be an option as it encourages a more laid back mood and welcomes nap time.
3. Limiting Social Media/Tech Distractions - I cannot stress enough how distracting and obsessive social media or binging Netflix can be when you’re home. The goal is to stay off of any social media accounts and limit tv time so that you can stay focused on the tasks you have for the day. It’s so easy to get suckered into scrolling through TikToks for hours, trust me! Turning your personal phone on silent or silencing your social media notifications is a great suggestion if you’re someone easily distracted by them!
4. Ground Rules - The most important is setting rules for yourself and maintaining them. For me, it’s letting my family know I’m not readily available to them during work hours unless it’s an emergency because I have to be present for my job. It’s also not turning on the tv to welcome that distraction. I’m not saying sitting in front of a laptop all day is the way to go, it’s all about finding a routine that works for you and allows you to stay focused on your job tasks. Making sure I can hear my work phone throughout the day is very important for me, just taking a mental break for a few minutes when I need it is also important. And generally having a to-do list for that days work is the best advice so I know what I have to complete and can check them off as it gets done.
It’s all about finding the right balance and routine that fits your job’s description and the lifestyle you live. I imagine things would be slightly different for those who have children that are also home throughout the day. Routine is key and maintaining a level of positivity is always needed during these difficult times.
Drop a comment and let me know what ideas you have for maintaining that work from home separation!