Working from home has benefits and challenges. However, one of the challenges is setting boundaries between work life and personal life. It can be difficult to keep work from encroaching on personal time and vice versa.
This post will look at tips for setting boundaries when working from home.
Setting physical boundaries: designating a workspace.
Designate a specific area in your home as your workspace. This will help you to mentally transition into work mode when you sit down at your desk, and it will remind you to leave work behind when you leave your desk at the end of the day. Your home office or workspace should be free of distractions, like your TV. Creating a specific work area will allow you to focus on the task at hand fully can be fun, but ensure it creates an atmosphere that motivates you to be creative and productive. For example, you might want to use a desk or table with plenty of space for your computer and other work-related items.
You may also want to consider a comfortable chair, ergonomic keyboard, and other tools to help you be more productive since you will spend a good portion of your day here. Additionally, when considering your desk, note if you will need a standup desk or one that is adjustable for standing and sitting. For example, I have difficulty sitting for hours, so the adjustable ones work best. It may take a minute to get the best working space in order, which is perfectly okay; remember that your decisions should be based on your needs and preferences.
Set office hours and stick to them.
One way to set boundaries between work and home life is to establish office hours and stick to them. This will help create a routine and prevent work from creeping into other parts of your life. If you work flexible hours, it can be challenging to stick to office hours at first. Your dedicated workspace will assist and motivate you in this area. If you like to work in a quiet place, ensure that your space allows it. If you need noise like myself, there are many youtube ASMR videos to help. Be sure to let other family members know when your office hours are so, they can respect your privacy during those times.
If you have trouble sticking to office hours, consider setting a timer or using an app to track your time so you can stay on schedule. You may also want to let your boss or team know what your plan looks like so they can be aware of when they can reach you.
Setting mental boundaries: scheduling breaks, avoiding distractions
Take breaks! Get up and move around regularly, take a walk outside, or just step away from your desk for a few minutes to clear your head. This is essential to refresh your mind and make it easier to get back into work mode. I find that I am more creative when I do this. To avoid distractions, you can also set aside specific times of the day when you are allowed to check Facebook or Instagram, etc. Social media can be a time waster, and you don't want this to interfere with your ability to be productive. If you're up for it, try going on a social media fast and see what changes in your productivity.
Communicating boundaries with others: family, roommates, friends
Setting boundaries with the people you live with is essential when working from home. Let your family and roommates know when you're working and available to talk. Let them know what kind of noise levels are acceptable and whether or not you need complete silence. It's also important to set boundaries with your friends. Tell them that just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're available to chat whenever they want. Set up specific times to talk, or let them know that you'll respond to their messages during breaks in your work day.
If you don't set these boundaries, focusing on your work and being productive can be challenging. Communicating your needs to the people in your life can ensure everyone is on the same page and help create an environment conducive to getting work done.
Invite Others to Collaborate
One method I find helpful in terms of being productive working from home is using the Pomodoro technique. I have already covered this technique in an article on the site before here. However, this method allows you to work in time sessions and take breaks alone or in collaboration. I now have quite a few friends that work remotely, so we get together and have our Pomodoro sessions holding each other accountable for being productive. Try this fantastic discord group; here, it allows you to work with others if you don't have a group of friends to try this technique with.
Collaboration is a great way to increase productivity. It can also help keep you motivated and engaged when working. However, choose the people you collaborate with wisely to ensure productive sessions.
If you have difficulty staying focused, try some or all of these tips to see if they help you. Remember that this is a significant adjustment if you are new and to give yourself grace. However, be sure to set yourself up for success with these tips, and remember to take time for yourself is essential to avoid burnout. This can be as simple as going for a walk, taking a shower, or even taking a short nap. When working from home, it is so easy to overwork. However, you want to develop a routine where your mind will be refreshed and ready to tackle the day's work. Let us know what tips work for you.
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