With the increase in jobs that are done remotely, more and more people have started working from home. Remote work comes with many advantages, like flexibility, skipping the commute, and working in your environment. But this also comes with certain drawbacks, one of them being the blurred line between home and professional time. Remote workers and young entrepreneurs might always feel guilty that they should be timely without setting explicit rituals and boundaries to mark their workday’s start and end.
For some, working from home is essential for maintaining balance in their lives. But others find it easy to seep into their lives when home becomes their office. Working in pajamas with your favorite TV show running just won’t cut it. Here is some excellent advice on how to separate leisure and work time.
1. Don’t Start Working the Minute You’re up
If you sit in front of your computer as soon as you wake up or take your laptop into bed is a huge mistake. Ok, you want to be productive and do your best today, but these are bad habits that can suck you in. Working for 10 hours straight every day for 4-5 consecutive days will have you burn out. To avoid this, establish a morning routine to go through before opening your laptop. The best thing to do is get out of the house for a cup of coffee at the nearest coffee shop or hit the gym. That will clear the sleep from your eyes and kickstart your day. Also, when you finally turn your computer on, give yourself 15-20 minutes before talking to your first client. Give yourself some time to get acclimated.
2. Workspace is Where Your Work and Do Nothing Else
If you’re working at your dining room table, you may find yourself eating all day long. It may happen because your brain is programmed to associate the dining table with, well, dining. Or if you’re working in the living room in front of your computer, you may find yourself lying down on the couch to “take a break” too often. Instead, designate a space in your home where you will do your work and nothing else. It would be best if you have a spare room to create a home office, but if you don’t, get a desk chair and make one place in the house a “sacred” area where you get your work done.
3. Leave Your Workspace Only When the Work Is Done
Working from home can make you feel lonely, because at the end of your workday you often may realize that you haven’t moved from your chair or left the apartment all day. There are no co-workers to invite to grab some lunch or coffee or stop by for a quick chat. That’s not healthy at all, so make sure to set your breaks for coffee and lunch as you would have in a regular office. Avoid eating in your workspace, but go out to grab a bite or dine in another room. Maybe a cup of coffee with some friends at your favorite café.
Last but not least is a bit of advice about your days off. Take them seriously and don’t leave work for the weekend. That might be necessary sometimes, but remember that you need to give yourself some time off to recharge. It will keep your energy levels and productivity up, as well as help you preserve your mental health. If you’re feeling burned out, you may have been making mistakes which you’re not aware. Set your hours, develop a routine, and get the work done!