With so many of us working from home now, and many of our kids and grandkids learning virtually at home as well, it can be even more difficult to develop a work-life balance. Working in an office made it easier to create boundaries around your time. When you were in the office, it was work time and when you got home, it was family time. Many of those lines have been blurred because we are now always at home. In today’s blog post, I want to help you set some boundaries and re-configure your work-life balance.
3 Boundaries to Set for a Proper Work-Life Balance
1. Set Physical Boundaries
If you don’t have one already, I strongly encourage you to set up a home office. This is going to instrumental in developing a work-life balance because it will create an area for focus. Ideally, it should have a door so you can take calls uninterrupted. When you leave your home office, you can leave the stressors of your work day there. Above all else, it needs to be a functional space. Consider the tools you need for success!
The most important advice I can add here is to try not to put your desk in your bedroom. We can tie emotional states to physical spaces, so you don’t want your bedroom full of stress and anxiety from your work day.
2. Set Time Boundaries
When you were working in the office, you probably had regular working hours. You would clock in around the same time in the morning and clock out and roughly the same time every evening. You need to implement those same boundaries when you are home. Just because you can hop on your work computer at 9 p.m. doesn’t mean you should. Work will still be there tomorrow, I promise!
One way to do this goes back to the first point, close your office door! Once it’s closed for the day, don’t go back in. Another way you can set time boundaries is to manage your calendar effectively. I use Google calendar, and my executive assistant knows I’m unavailable during my grandson’s baseball games. I encourage you to block off time on your calendar when you cannot be reached unless it’s an emergency.
3. Set Mental Boundaries
An instrumental piece of a work-life balance is having mental boundaries. You don’t want to be thinking about work when you’re trying to be present with your family. Sometimes, the solutions to work problems pop up unexpectedly, but don’t allow your work to permeate every facet of your life. When you’re with family, or simply taking tiem for yourself, I want you to keep the focus on what you’re doing in the present moment.
This can also tie into the two principles above. I try not to contact my employees after 5 p.m., and you should consider how you can set that boundary as well. Even if you’re not talking about work, that mental connection with work will be turned on.
What have you found helpful in creating a work-life balance while working from home? Let me know in the comments below!