Here’s a guest post from my VA, Holly Matson of Lightseeds. This is such an important point for those of us who work from home!
If you work from home as I do, how do you keep your life separate from your work?
Many of the readers of this blog are in service industries, working to support others in their work, self-esteem, or health, for example. We are the ones who most often have blurred boundaries between work and home life. But it is very important to draw a clear boundary between the two. Those of us that are more holistic and spiritual in nature and in our work would explain this as an “energetic boundary.”
Without firm boundaries we can too easily become overwhelmed and overworked.
Working hours: How often do you tell your family – or yourself – “I’ll just wrap up this one quick thing.” Four hours later you glance up and realize that it’s dark outside. Stop that! Set working hours just as if you were in an “outside” job. If you’re a morning person, put the weightiest tasks on your agenda for the morning, with lighter ones in the evening, and a FIRM stopping time. Shut down the computer, turn off the lights, and STOP. No checking emails, no “just one quick call.” Done means done!
Privacy: If you work from home, does your family allow you the privacy you need? This can be a greater challenge with small children in the home. Create firm rules that when the office door is shut, you are not to be disturbed, but take frequent breaks (perhaps 10-15 minutes every couple of hours if you can) for your own sanity and theirs.
Breaks: Do you sit at your desk for hours at a time? Create a rule about that too – set a timer for each hour on the hour, and get up for a few minutes. Stretch, walk, drink water, breathe deeply.
Accessibility: Does your mother tend to pop over during working hours since she knows you’re home? Does your friend call to chat? On the flip side, do clients call you during your “off” hours? Set firm boundaries about when you are available, and stick to them.
When you can be fully present to your life during your non-working hours, you honor yourself and your family. Your work may be important, but your health, family and friends are your very life.
Do you find these concepts difficult to “wrap your mind” around? Might be time for some coaching to help you honor yourself!
(image credit Stuart Miles)