Separating Home From Work
A few months ago (feels like a lifetime right?) many of us were displaced from an office setting to a home office setting. There have been a few that made that transition seamlessly. I am not one of those few! I am an extrovert by nature. I recharge my batteries (energy if you will) by interacting with people around me. This is not to say I don’t like alone time, but Socialization is imperative to my existence. I went from an office full of wonderful coworkers to a table at home with my children and my VERY needy Boston Terrier, Rueben.
Sitting in my kitchen staring at the laundry, floors that need swept, dishes in the sink, oh my goodness I should repaint this room! I quickly blurred the lines between home life and work life. My productivity dropped along with all motivation. This was simply not going to work. I mean let’s be honest, it had to work whether I wanted it to or not. So what to do?
Figure Out What's Working and What Isn't
I made a list of the reasons my home work space was not working out. First thing on the list was my home work space was not a work space at all! It was a laptop on my kitchen table. This was the very lack of separation! Well I could change that for sure. I found a corner of a room, away from the main living spaces. I turned that corner into an “office”. This gave my brain what it needed to understand we are at work and not at home.
Second thing on my list was a little tougher, my kids...and Rueben. I had to create a schedule. Setting time limit boundaries, gave me the space I needed to do as much as I could and be able to handle little things needed throughout the day. Schedules work for the kids too! They need those boundaries. Think school setting for them. Giving them timed daily tasks keeps the boredom away and helps me accomplish what I need.
Don't Bring Work "Home"
Work at work and home at home. This is by far the hardest thing to do since I can not physically leave. When the work day is done I close up all folders, projects, and laptop. I put all my supplies away and silence the work phone. All those things will be waiting for me the next work day, and I am free to work on home tasks. As hard as it will be, try not to do work things on home-time or home things on work-time. Setting strong boundaries will be difficult at first, but are so important for success.
These are unprecedented times, but I hope my experience helps you build a successful work at home atmosphere! If you would like to read more, here are a few articles I found helpful:
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