So you work at home every day. When you finish work and log off the computer, you walk straight to the couch in your living room. There is nothing keeping you from opening up your computer again and working.
The lack of separation between your home office and your home is apparent when you open your emails at 10 pm. Being an entrepreneur, freelancer, or remote worker, these are often the challenges that arise and can keep you in work mode all day and night.
This can affect not only your ability to enjoy the work you’re doing, but can also bleed into other important things such as your social life, relationships, sleep schedule, and mental health.
Establish Work Boundaries
It’s helpful when you can establish work boundaries with your coworkers or clients. But what’s most important is establishing them for yourself first. If you can’t be consistent with your own solid boundaries, then others won’t either.
Have a separate workspace
Having a separate place where you do your work is extremely helpful in having good work boundaries at home. A room with a door is ideal to separate your office from the rest of your house.
For one, if you live with other people, like a family, partner, or roomie, it tells them that you’re busy working and not to be disturbed. Secondly, it allows you to feel that once you leave the office or designated area, that work is over, and you’re transitioning back into life.
Take days off
Remote workers and entrepreneurs especially can get so caught up in working all the time, whenever, that they don’t take time off.
It’s important for your mental health to have at least a couple of full days off. If you struggle to have any full days that you aren’t working, take a whole week off and go completely off the grid. Go alone, with friends, or your family and just have fun!
This is critical for your quality of life, and so you can go back to work feeling rejuvenated instead of completely burnt out. You won’t regret it, and neither will those who love you that have been dying to have some quality time with you.
If you find yourself struggling with social anxiety, you can take this social anxiety test.
Have set work hours
If you are in charge of your own schedule, set work hours for yourself. Try waking up at the same time every day and have a morning routine. Then, get to work at the same time every day, and finish.
If you are not a consistent routine person and you don’t need to wake up at a certain time, they have a limit for how many hours you work per day. Only check your emails during those hours. And don’t let it bleed into your bedtime routine. Opening your laptop right before bed to work on work things is a sure-fire way to have stress dreams and potentially keep you up overthinking at night.
Use one communication channel
It’s best to just have one communication device for work-related things. Meaning, if you have a work phone, you turn it off when the workday is over or airplane mode. If you don’t use a work phone or work computer, try to not give out personal numbers for work-related things.
You don’t want a coworking asking for favors at 8 pm right before you start watching a movie with your partner, or are getting ready to wind down for bed. If you start giving out your personal number, you’re going to start blurring these boundaries and could have some issues.
Stick to emails and work phones for work-related things!
If you do some of these simple things and practice holding those boundaries with your work life, you will absolutely improve your life. If you need an accountability partner, ask someone who works with you or your partner to call you out when you try to break those boundaries.
And most importantly, take care of yourself!
[This post is written by Marie Miguel. Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.]