Where does work end and your life begin? Since the pandemic hit us all worldwide, many have transformed their homes to their new office. Employees do their projects at home and business owners run their businesses from home now. Doing so leaves us with a problem: We get stuck to never really leaving work, since we are at home. Resisting that tendency by setting and maintaining ground rules that work for you and your work. You run your business and your life, don’t let it run you.
Ground Rule # 1 – DECIDE WHAT WORK/LIFE BALANCE MEANS FOR YOU
It’s about developing clarity on what work/life balance is for you. Is it the traditional 9 to 5? Is it crunching everything into 3 solid focused highly productive hours (me from 9 to 12nn)? What does your business, finances and other personal commitments need? Plot it down in a daily calendar for you. Time to put that planner into good use my friend.
Ground Rule # 2 – SET PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES
Making sure you are working at home, not living in your office. If you do have space to separate both, make sure to identify at dedicated work area at home. Otherwise, put your laptop/desktop/work phone away at the end of the day so you can seamlessly transition to home mode. Do not work where you sleep, or you will end up in bed not being able to identify if you’re going to sleep or work on your next proposal. And with that, don’t sleep on your work chair. If you need to take a power nap, do it in your bedroom.
Ground Rule # 3 – SET CLIENT BOUNDARIES
A simple reminder: YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS. If you don’t want to take client calls in the evening (or past your work committed hours) or over the weekend, then don’t. You are responsible for defending what boundaries you have set.
Ground Rule # 4 – CREATE A SCHEDULE & STICK WITH IT
How many hours do you intend to work and what time do you want to start? What time do you wrap up? When do you take 15 and 30 minute breaks? When do you stop checking email replies at night? Create a start to end day routine and be disciplined enough to follow it. Consistency is king here to be successful. Consistency creates discipline always.
Ground Rule # 5- COORDINATE WELL
Being a good person means coordinating your new schedule with your loved ones such as your partner, spouse, parents, siblings, friends, etc. Give importance to nurturing your relationships by giving them the attention they deserve. We work to live, never live to work. Make it part of your routine to give time to your loved ones.
PRO TIP: Working from home can help you move easily from your schedule to accommodate your highest productivity hours. If you’re the early bird, start work early to take advantage of a peak in your energy. (Refer to my previous blog on 8 simple productivity habits). If you work at night, feel free to work later on during the day.
Question of the day: Do you prefer working from home, working at the office or half/half?