13 Ways To “Leave Work” When You Work From Home

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Working from home offers unique challenges for most people. There are specific differences between running a business from home and pursuing a hobby. If you have a business with an address that matches your residence, how do you ever leave it?

Here are some great suggestions:

1. Try to carve out a space that has a door

Go to work every day, unless you’re ill. But leave every day, as well. If you can’t maintain an entire room for your business, at least try to have a dedicated corner, or a closet with a desk, chair and storage space. Don’t share. With anyone. Ever! Preferably, not even the dog.

2. Separate phone line

Maintain a separate phone line, even if it’s a cell phone; turn it off unless you’re actually working. Leave it on your desk overnight and on your days off. Anyone who needs you should have an alternate way to reach you in case of emergency.

3. Be in the Zone

Dress for work; it can be “casual Friday” every day, but leave the “jammies” in the bedroom, and save the shorts for weekends with the kids. Conversely, when you leave the office, put on your warm-ups, or your running shoes, your shorts and t-shirts, and relax in whatever way you do that best.

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4. Post office hours

Seriously. At the end of the day, clear your desk, turn off the computer, turn off the lights and close the door if you have one. Leave the office!

5. Go out for lunch

Schedule meetings, meet business associates or friends, run errands, go for a run; but leave your workspace for a period of time each day. You’ll accomplish more when you return.

6. Meet a friend

Meet a friend for an “after-work” cocktail, early dinner or shopping excursion. Try not to use the excuse that you’ve “been working all day” as a reason not to have some fun. That leads to ineffective decision-making, depression, and decreased productivity the next day.

7. Refuse to do personal things

Politely refuse to do personal things for anyone “because you’re home anyway.” Always! Be gracious, though, in explaining what you can accomplish for them “after work.” And, then, follow through.

8. Separate calendars

Maintain separate calendars for work and personal scheduling. At least, color code your appointments. This is a biggie, according to time management specialists and professional organizers.

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9. Evaluate

Each afternoon, evaluate your day, note completed assignments and write out your “To Do” list for the next day. It should be the first thing you see when you get to work the next morning.

10. Have breakfast at home

Don’t bring your laptop or your smart phone to the breakfast table. Don’t eat breakfast at your desk. Unless, of course, you go out for doughnuts “on your way to work,” but don’t make that a habit! Separate your lives!

11. Stick to a routine

If you have to work late occasionally (or go in early sometimes) so be it. But, you should not let it become a habit. Try to leave the office each day with a solid roster of accomplishment and completed projects. Then, clear your mind.

12. Catch up

Set aside some time, at least weekly, to catch up on filing, paperwork, emails, invitations, bills, all the routine things you tend to postpone for later. Also, neaten up your workspace. Never bring those tasks “home.”

13. Have a good dinner

No joke. Whether you prepare the meal, or just “come when called,” a regular meal will play a big part in your ability to leave the office and go home. Do not allow yourself to snack all day and skip dinner! By Thomas Milva

 

 

thomasneThomas lives and works as an Information Security Analyst in Baton Rouge, though his family originates from Italy. He is 28 years old, adores outdoor activities and he spends most of his time working from home in the company of his dog Reggie and his two goldfish. When it comes to humans, his favorite one is his girlfriend, Clara.

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  • Hi Thomas,

    I love the idea of establishing post office hours. Super smart, super effective and super energy booster.

    I formerly worked at weird hours, which caused me to develop a huge attachment to my work from home/blogging gig. No boundaries. Plugged in way too much. Big time problems.

    I currently work a set amount of time daily – usually during specific time frames – and get the hell off the internet. Keeps me doing things for fun, versus from a fear of missing out.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan