In this fast and dynamic world, keeping your work and personal life separate has become almost impossible. With technology like cloud storage allowing access to work data from any corner of the world at your convenience, the boundaries between work time and personal time have blurred. In other words, the pandemic has made our work lives and personal lives equivalent to a complex smoothie. Especially the work from home situation. It has made office inescapable, especially in homes with limited space. Work follows everyone into their bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and even out on balconies. Many find themselves answering work calls and emails during family time, mealtime, and even while in the bathroom.
While there are a lot of upsides to working from home such as a flexible schedule, no more hectic daily commute, and more time to spend with family, the positive side can only be enjoyed by people who know to set boundaries between their work and personal time.
By defining the right boundaries between work mode and personal mode, you become more productive and happier in both worlds.
Why It’s Important to Keep Personal and Work Life Separate
By urging everyone to keep their personal and professional lives separate, we do not mean that you need to have physically different locations for each. Even when a few people work at the office, they may find it is tough to maintain a work-life balance. It’s all about the right attitude and mindset.
Even when doing both under the same roof, one can let distractions take a backseat and keep the mind focused to achieve a more comfortable and productive flow. It is not easy and needs a lot of practice, but it must be done in order to maintain sanity. One simply cannot enjoy a family while fencing work emails or messages at the dinner table. Something has to give.
Advantages of Keeping Work and Home Separate
Work-life balance is very important to have a successful and happy life. It is important to note that you will not have the luxury to end your day at sundown every day. Some emergencies tend to extend into your time, which is fine once in a while. What you do to compensate to balance the time so that you get enough rest is what matters. Separating your office space and your family space, even if it is a desk dedicated to working at home, will ensure you have the focus to work and enjoy family time. We have an entire blog on how to stay productive while working from home.
Tension and stress are the biggest issues one faces in modern workspaces. The race to be on the top of the social and corporate ladder demands people to work 18 hours a day, leading to mental breakdowns, health issues, lack of sleep, etc. Work-life separation offers you a low-stress situation, allowing you to sit back and relax. Everyone reaches their success on their own time.
Separating your work and personal life offers you time to plan a healthy diet, exercise, and meditation. You have time with your family, can spend time close to nature by taking a walk in the park, do gardening, or even simply sit in your backyard and read your favorite book. All these help you to have a healthier lifestyle.
Improved Home Life
Many end up messing their family life with their partner or kids by missing out on spending time with them. It’s important to spend time with friends and family and be there for them when they need you. Being present in time is the most precious gift one can offer. So make time for your family and you’ll have a fuller life. Also, a supportive and happy family will always ensure a successful work life.
How To Separate Work and Personal Life?
The benefits of a healthy work-life balance are crystal clear. How you achieve that balance is a bigger undertaking.
Here are some amazing tips which work for me as a long time remote worker:
Communicate Your Work Hours to Colleagues
It’s important to let your colleagues know the work hours you are available and the time(s) you won’t be available. Ensure you let them know politely that you won’t be answering emails outside of work hours unless something is urgent.
Track Your Work Time
Take notes on how you spend your day. Analyze how long you spend working, socializing, sleeping, etc. then allot your time accordingly so you have a balance between your personal and work life. It takes practice, adjustments, and careful review.
Reduce Number of Meetings
Ensure you plan your work in detail and then connect with colleagues in a limited number of virtual meetings. Many times, the lack of planning and research leads to long and unproductive meetings. Make sure you find productive ways to reduce long hours.
Separate Professional and Personal User Accounts
Always ensure you have separate user accounts for personal and professional use. You do not need personal mails and messages distracting you during work hours and vice versa. It is always better to maintain separate devices for work and personal accounts as well.
Separate Work Space and Family Space
It is always important to separate your workspace and personal space physically at home. Set up a desk or a room dedicated to office work. Do not let the work overflow to family spaces by taking your laptop or work phone with you. This separation of spaces allows your brain to take the time away from both worlds without stress. When you’re in your office space, you’ll be able to focus on your work better, and the same thing applies to your family spaces. Working long hours is not the answer to a successful life. Work smarter, and have a balance between your professional and personal life. After all, your professional life is only as good as your personal life.