When working from home, it’s difficult to differentiate work from home life. Some of us can manage it – setting a fixed work schedule, having an office out-of-the-way from the rest of the home, and generally feeling like you do a full-time job and then return to home. Only, you don’t return – it is your home.
It’s important to separate these two parts of our lives. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to relax. If you’re used to working at 8pm on the sofa in front of the TV, not only will you be distracted, but you’ll never be able to enjoy the TV. You need to know when to switch off. Here are some tips on how to separate your work life from your private life when working from home.
Refer to your work space as your office
This is not only a good reminder to yourself that you’re now in “work mode”, but it reminds others that you’re not just an unemployed lay about. If friends are distracting you, asking for favours, then be confident in using the phrase “I can’t, I’m working in the office”. Make sure to reinforce at every opportunity that this is only a space for work, and that you’re now unavailable when you’re there.
Don’t put personal entertainment in the office room
So, obviously you should have a separate room in the home as an office, if you’re fortunate enough to have that extra space (if not, then perhaps buy a cheap room divider window and put it around your desk). However, just because you have an awesome 4k monitor in your office it doesn’t mean you should bring your playstation here for when you finish work. This is a terrible idea as it will tempt you when working to “have a break”. Instead, keep only work related things in this space.
This however doesn’t mean you can’t personalise your office. You should be creating decorations (not just buying) for this office, something to put an extra bit of life into the space. It’s always handy to have some fast and strong glue available too, so you can put together your decorations exactly how you want them. Make sure to take your time with this process, you want to be thrilled with the final aesthetic.
Get a coffee machine
Okay so, this actually goes hand-in-hand with the notion that you shouldn’t be mixing work with play. If you’re always having to walk to the kitchen to make yourself drinks, then you’re already blurring the lines. It’s a much better idea to be able to make drinks in your office so you can keep working. Sure, when deciding to have a break, have a proper break (by that, you should be leaving the office and preferably the house all together for a set amount of time).
Lastly, try your best to have a fixed routine. The first thing you think when you’re new to working from home is that “this is the main benefit of working from home – doing things when I want. However, this can be a downward spiral – before you know it, you’re in there late at night, getting tired and distracted on your phone and bahm! The lines are blurred again. Keep to a fixed routine – work as early as possible in the office so you can indulge in the rest of your home in the evenings.