Working From Home: Setting Work Boundaries
How many of you feel like you are working more than ever before? You are, particularly if you aren't someone who is used to working from home. Many of us have this feeling that we have to do more when we work from home. We have to be available all the time and we have to show how hard we are working by doing more work. Here's the thing, you don't. You need to do the same good job you've always done. And you need to create some boundaries that clearly separate work time and home time.
I've worked from home for a long time and have learned the following tips work for me. Perhaps one or two will work for you, too.
Set times to start and stop work each day. Yes I realize there are exceptions, but stopping work when you would normally step out of your office to go home should be the norm.
Turn off your work computer and any other device that works comes in on (this may mean you turn work notifications off on your phone if it serves dual duty). And put it away.
Schedule something to do right after work time ends. This may be a walk on your own or with family, a call with a friend, or the time you need to decompress from working all day. Consider it your 'drive-time.'
Do not eat your lunch in front of your computer. Now maybe you did this when you were in the office. Don't do it now. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to sit quietly or with your housemates to have lunch.
Treat Saturday and Sunday like the weekend. I know it may not seem like we have weekends anymore, but we do. Take advantage of them to destress, reconnect and rest.
Set a timer to move during the day. If you're like me, you sit down, you work and you don't look up until something or someone interrupts your focus. Setting a timer regularly throughout the day helped me remember to stand up, stretch my legs, get more water, whatever I needed. It reminded me to move. (Note: often this was my washing machine or dryer timer.)
Finally, remember to give yourself some grace. If these are new habits for you, they will take time to stick. And they may not be the right ones. The idea to pick one or two, see how they feel and adapt them as needed.