How to Separate Work from Your Personal Life in a Home Office
While working from home has so many wonderful benefits (zero commute, not needing to dress up), many entrepreneurs still struggle with staying productive. With a house full of laundry to fold and television shows to catch up on, how can you possibly get any work done?
It takes discipline, to be sure. But with a few practices in place, you’ll find it easier to shut out the noise of your personal life when you’re working from home.
- Establish Rules for Your Family
All too often does the spouse of someone who works from home say, “Hey, since you’ll be home all day, would you mind running a few errands for me?”
It’s important to establish with your loved ones that just because you work from home does not mean you are available to run errands and do chores. They need to respect that you’re working.
You may want to set up office hours where they are not to disturb you (children included). Close the door to your office.
- Save Those Chores Til After Work
Yes, it’s hard to not stop by the laundry room and fold a few towels when you’re on your way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, but you’ve got to pretend that pile of laundry doesn’t exist, at least until you’re done working for the day.
Work-at-home entrepreneurs often suffer guilt that they aren’t doing more around the house, but the fact is: you’re contributing more to your household by bringing in money, so know that the laundry will be taken care of later.
- Resist the Siren Call of the Couch
Just as distracting as chores are the entertainment options you have at home. Maybe you need a break from a big project, so you sit down to catch up on The Handmaid’s Tale. Before you know it, you’ve binged three episodes and have several voicemails from clients!
Look at your Netflix queue or that new summer read you picked up as a reward at the end of a solid work day, not a (long) break in the middle of it.
- Establish Daily Goals
If your workday changes daily, one way to ensure you stay productive is to make a list of the three most important goals you need to achieve each day. Start with the biggest one. Focusing on accomplishing those goals will make it harder to be deterred by landmines around your house.
It may take some practice, finding your rhythm working from home and not getting distracted with your home life, but once you find it, your efficiency will flow!