How To Separate Working At Home From Your Personal Life

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Today we’re constantly connected. To our phone, to our emails and to our work! With the lockdowns enforced working from home has become another point of entanglement. I’ve asked a lot of my friends how they’ve been finding working from home. And maybe not so surprisingly, many have found it difficult for a number of reasons. It can be challenging to separate working at home from your personal life.

Some people have felt the added pressure of having to do more work. To make it known to their managers that they are indeed working. Others have been too distracted as many children are still off school. And some are simply missing the social interaction with their colleagues at the workplace. Where there were once clear boundaries between office and home, those boundaries have now become very blurred.

I say that literally as I’m sitting here writing, at gone 11pm. So these are things that I will try to put into practice myself!

Switch Off

I know it’s easier said than done! You’re probably thinking if I knew how to switch off I wouldn’t be reading this post. I think we have to be more realistic with ourselves when it comes to stepping away from work. There are going to be days where work is just going to go on longer than planned. Maybe well into the evening. It becomes an issue when its every night.

Limit those number of late evenings to two or three a week. Once you’ve reached the threshold keep the work to your normal working hours until next week. Or pick specific days of the week where you have made another commitment to keep. To yourself, your partner or your children. Those times are no go.

Schedule Your Time

Sometimes the personal time we should be having gets cut short simply because we haven’t planned our work out properly. We figure we have all the time to get it done (because we’re not going anywhere). So it’s takes us all the time to get it done.

A productive work day means we have to set u a plan before hand. This can time blocking out our day. Or setting a list of 3 must do priorities to complete before the end of the day. Which means we must have a set work time to start and finish.

Your Work Set Up

If you have an office set up then great! If not keep away from the comfy zones such as the living room and bedrooms. Working on the bed or the sofa is just going to be too tempting. Pull up a chair to the dining room table if necessary or find a corner to set up somewhere.

Setting up your work area as best as you can is going to help hugely in getting work tasks done and completed.

Manage Expectations

Another reason our personal time and work time can get so blurred is that we don’t want to say no. To anybody! We’re available to everyone all times through phone, email and social media. To our managers, clients, friends and family.

We need to let our boss and clients know that we do have a cut off point. This could be written in email. Your last email check will be this time. As for phone calls past a certain time, simply don’t pick up. It can be hard. But the message you’re not available after a certain time will get through.

In the same way we need to let our friends and family know that working from home doesn’t mean they can call you anytime during the work day. It’s still work. Quite often that’s not always understood. Availability for chat is after a set time. This can be even more difficult with family who are at home, to separate working from home life. But setting boundaries all will help you and everyone else around you.

What challenges have you had in how to separate working at home from your personal time? Let me know what has helped you in the comments below!


Feature Image: Christiaan Koepke – Unsplash

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