Friday, July 22, 2011

The Dividing Line Between Business and Personal

Keeping your business life and your personal life separate is pretty easy when you work in an office. Every day you leave your home and you go to your office, and at the end of the day, you leave your office and come home. This at least gives you physical distance between work and home. If you can resist the temptation to bring work home with you, you have a distinct separation between the two.

But what do you do if you work at home? In this situation, there is no distance between the home and the office. This means that separating business and personal has to be a very mental process. This is where having a  schedule can help you. The work day ends at a certain time, and you can put the business things away for the evening. If you do not have a set schedule, it can be harder to decide when to end your work day. You might even find yourself thinking about work or feeling guilty that you aren’t working during the evening.

Having a designated work space, like a home office, is another good way to create separation. If you keep your business related accessories in that room, you can leave that room at the end of the work day. This gives you some small amount of physical separation. Some people recommend that you shouldn’t work in your bedroom because it can make it harder for you to sleep at night. Staring at your desk in your bedroom while you are trying to fall asleep will probably plague you with thoughts about what you have to do the next day.

Another thing that you can do is separate your life electronically. This makes the most sense if you are working from home full time. First, you will want to get a work email. This way you can keep your business emails and your personal emails separate. Don’t check your business email after you “leave” work for the day. You can also do the same thing with your telephone, though this can be costly for people who are just starting as freelancers or small business owners.
If you take some or all of these steps, you can make your life less stressful. You can have boundaries between two very important aspects of your life. As humans we are generally most comfortable with things that are well-defined. When you know where your personal life begins and your work life ends, you will be more productive and relaxed.

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