Work 19 May 2023

How to Keep Private and Work Life Separate in Your Home

pexels-ba-tik-3754296 Photo by Ba Tik from Pexels

As more people are developing a groove for how to efficiently work from home, they’re recognizing the benefits of developing a home office. However, there are many people who don’t know how to create a distinction between their work life and their private life when everything happens under the same roof. In order to create defined distinctions between it all, adopt the following tips.

1. Create an ‘In Session’ Sign

When you’re working from home, you’re already dealing with the fact that family members and friends will try to reach you in the middle of the day. As long as they know you’re at home, they’re going to assume that you’re available for a mid-day call. One of the greatest ways to seperate private and work life is by creating a visual reminder of your commitment to your work. Instead of creating a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, it’s better to be mindful of your words. The more you tell someone not to do something, the more they’re going to want to commit the forbidden act. Instead, change the verbiage by posting a ‘Work in Session’ sign. When family members see that sign posted on the door, they’ll know that you’re knee-deep in important work.

2. Get Dressed

Create a schedule that allows you to wake up early to get dressed and presentable. Don’t just reserve getting dressed for the days when you have video-conferencing sessions with clients and coworkers. Instead, focus on creating a routine that makes you presentable each day. When you get dressed, it helps you perk up in a more professional way each day. Plus, when your family sees you get out of your pajamas every day, this might help them recognize that you’re not just doing casual work when you feel like it.

3. Maintain Specific Office Hours

If you have flexibility surrounding the hours you can actually work, consider starting early in the morning before everyone rises. If you already know that your house is pretty hectic throughout the day, early hours might help you to become a lot more productive. However, find a groove that you can stick with. If that means that you’re working for six uninterrupted hours or a 30-minute break every three hours, create a schedule.

4. Decorate the Office

When your office space inspires you to get work done, you’re more likely to go inside and use it. Knowing this, set some time aside to decorate your office. Since it’s your house, you have free reign to make it what you want. If you’d like to paint the walls, hang artwork and create a vision board, go for it. Set visuals around the room that inspire you to do your best. This might involve pictures of your family, your dream vacation and an inspirational quote. If there are windows in this room, utilize as much of the natural light as you possibly can. Natural light can uplift the mood.

5. Make the Office Off-Limits

When it’s time for you to get work done, it can be easy to assume that your family will want to come in and hang out. Instead, make sure they understand that this isn’t a space for hanging out and conversation. In addition to the use of a sign, it’s about the behaviors and traditions you set. Don’t allow anyone to come in, have a seat and strike up a conversation. They wouldn’t drive to your job to do this. They have to respect your work time. Furthermore, when office hours are finished and you’re done with work, leave the office. The office is even off-limits to you when you’re not working.

6. Stick to a Schedule

Once you’ve set your office hours, do your best to commit. Procrastination is oftentimes the culprit that leads to getting work done after hours and into the wee hours of the morning. If you need to set a timer to keep yourself focused and on task, make that a habit. Set timers and be mindful of the time. When you’re at home, it’s a lot easier to binge-watch an entire television show because there’s no one over your shoulder to tell you to get things done. Learn to self-direct, and develop self-discipline.

7. Create Work-Mode Music and Ambiance

When you enter your office space, set the mood and tone of the room. One of the best ways to set the tone of the room is through including music. Get some headphones that allow you to focus and speed up your pace. Light a particular candle that emits a lovely scent. When you start the burn that candle, something triggers your sense to recognize that it’s time to get work done. Just be sure that to turn off the candle within three hours for health purposes.

8. Set Up a Coffee Bar

If you don’t have to leave your office for anything, this might help you remain focused when you’re getting work done. Once you enter those doors, you’re only coming out to use the restroom or grab some lunch. One of the best ways to do this is by setting up mini-coffee bar in your office. Set up a simple table, an array of instant coffee flavors, sweeteners and an electric kettle. You can also add a coffee machine, teabags and lots of pre-packaged snacks. Set up a water filter that allows you to refill your water bottle as needed. When you have your snacks and drinks in one place, this might help you remain more steadfast when it’s time to work.

Don’t forget that while this a transition for you, it’s also a transition for anyone who lives with you. This includes your children, your partner, roommates and more. While it might take some time to get used to the shift, remain consistent. Give yourself and your family grace in the case of emergencies. After all, there are times when you have family emergencies that cause you to need to leave the office. Things happen. However, when you consistently draw a line of demarcation between your seperate private and work life, you’ll reap the rewards of balancing it all.