If you work out of your home, like I do…err did, separating your work life from your life-life can be a problem.

Of course, to be completely self-serving I’d love to have you join Office Space Coworking.

But hey – that good things in time right. Meanwhile – you gotta do what you gotta do.

We find ourselves running to the office to check a few emails or sneak in one little thing right after dinner. We tend to watch TV with a laptop, fussing away on one thing or another, just to knock out a few things here and there.

And that’s the problem – we don’t know where work ends and our life begins.

Now for some, this may not be a concern. It’s only been since industrial age that we started the concept of separating work from play. But then again, we were really just trying to survive at that point. I like to think we’ve evolved since the time of indentured servitude.

Unless you create a wall – I mean like a Chinese Wall — between your WORK and your HOME, you run the risk of creating an environment of depression and resentment towards your business, towards your home.

Who’d have thought your home could be such a hazardous work environment?

Here’s some tips I use to put hard edges on my work life:

    1. Have an Office – I’m talking to you — yes you — the guy working in his daughter’s play room while she’s away at school. And you too, Ms. ‘I’ll just spread my work on the kitchen table’. Uhhh-huh — that ain’t gonna cut it. While it might be a struggle, it’s paramount to carve out a space of your own. This is where your work happens AND where you leave it when the day is done.

  1. Keep Office Hours – I don’t care if you work 9-5 or 5-9. Just make sure you’re work day isn’t an amorphous blog that seeps into every crevice of your day. Soon you’ll find yourself guilt riddled, stressed out and resentful of the your business. You’ll end up avoiding work totally and it’ll completely backfire on you. So just set your hours and STOP when the time comes so you have some semblance of balance in your life.
  2. Have A Closed Door Policy – Related to points one and two. Shut the door when the day is done. Call it feng shui, call it ‘energy’, call it bunk — shutting the door to your office in the ‘off’ hours just sends a signal to you brain business is closed. You won’t be as tempted to pop in and check messages.
  3. Don’t Let Work Escape It’s Cage – It’s tempting to do some mindless work on the laptop while watching Project Runway, but what you’re really doing is setting a precedent. A precedent which says every room in your house is a potential work space. How we relate to our environment matters. If you want your kitchen, family room, & bedroom to remind you of all the things you have to do — go for it. But if your home to be a home were you have real connections with family, only work in your designated work area.
  4. Relocate – It depends on the nature of your work . But many times I find I work best at my local coffee / sandwich shop, bar, or library. I like having people shuffle around me all while listening to my favorite music on my iPod. I feel a connection to the world around me. Yet, I’m allowed the luxury of deep, focused productivity. Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    –Mark Twain

  5. Dress (and Shower) for You Day – Say what you will, working in your pajamas is unnatural and an affront to all that is good in the world. I’m sure there’s something about it in the Bible somewhere. Whatever the case, you’ll feel scuzzy and gross.When you look good, you know it. You attitude changes. You get cocky. You feel great and that will translate to the quality of your work.
  6. Hand Over the iPhoneYou do it. We all do it. I just did it and I’m ready to do it again. I have a problem. I admit it. I’m constantly checking my email or taking phone calls off hours. It’s an addition and I can’t control myself. Logically, I know the truth. If I don’t’ allow myself to disconnect from work, I’ll be repelled by it. But it’s just so easy to hit the send/receive button. Did I get any new subscribers? Anyone post a comment on my blog? So my treatment? My wife takes my phone from me when we’re out. It’s there. I know I can ask for it if there’s some “emergency” or something. But I’ve at least created a buffer zone so I can focus on what’s really important at that moment.
  7. Take A Lunch Break – I can be a pit bull when it comes to my task list. Once I have my agenda for the day, I sink my teeth and won’t let go. This in contrast to the last guy I worked for. He made us take lunch. That’s right made us.What if I was really into something and just needed 15-20 more? Nope. It’s noon, let’s get something to eat.

    I didn’t get it at first. But it was really a very smart managerial tactic. See, this guy didn’t care if we went hungry. He just knew that having your nose to the grindstone all day results in a myopic view of your work.

    We’d come back to the office. We’d be relaxed. And suddenly our perspectives had changed. Things were simmering in the back of our brains and when we came back we had clarity on things that were spinning us in circles only 60 minutes before.What’s more, we injected some fun into our day.

    So you know…it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey? That helps fight burn out and let’s you actually look forward to getting back to work.

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