I’m in sales and in most cases I always have to be on. I tell my prospects/clients that they can call me any time; however, when your home is your office how can you achieve shifting from professional to personal and vice versa?
I’ve struggled at this personally; not knowing how or when to switch my gears from work to personal as I’ve seem to mingled the two together. I decided to make a shift this November and create a structure to achieve my balance. Here is what I have learned so far.
- Be organized
For those who work at an office it is easier for you to not care about their workspace appearance. Once they leave for the day, in most cases out of site out of mind. However, when you work from home you will NEVER stop working if you leave your workspace unorganized. Before your workday is over, organize your desk and create a to-do list for the following day. This way you are not thinking about it while you are supposed to be enjoying your personal time and won’t have the urge to walk back to your home office and start working again.
- Present the best you
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can’t look presentable. I am not talking about getting all glammed up to go on a date. Take a shower, style your hair and get out of your PJs. I am a big believer when you look good you feel good and you are more confident.
- Create a routine
Besides presenting the best you, create a morning and evening routine (just like you would if you worked in an actual office). I like to pretend I commute every morning to my home office. I get ready and I create my own morning commute before I start my day and at the end of the day I do the same. I will shut down my computer, leave my house and go for a quick walk. It helps get me focused in the morning and clear my head in the evening. Maybe even treat yourself to a coffee or muffin a couple days a week.
- Create boundaries
With working from home that means your coworker, family and friends think you are ALWAYS available. They will only think this if you allow them. Set expectations in the beginning and stick to them. I set aside time to have phone conversations with my family, this way they know when I am available and it gives me time to take a break. If you need to respond to coworkers and or clients after hours, make sure you set times to check your phone to respond. This way you are not consistently checking your phone and missing out on your personal time.
- Create a schedule
I work even harder at my home office verses my work office and I know there are others that feel the same way. When working from home you are truly accountable for yourself and no one is watching over you or micro managing your every move. You determine how successful you will be while working from home. With that being said I know I work more than 40 hours a week (whether doing my day-to-day work, attending events, etc.) and to make sure I am not overworking myself I create a daily schedule for myself that I finalize the night before. In my schedule I plan out every hour of my day and make sure to add in breaks. Adding scheduled breaks in your day is key; this will get you out of the house, make sure you eat and drink water, clear your head and get you ready for the next task at hand. In sales my schedule is never consistent; there are times I might need to work late or really early and I make sure to add in my personal time as well (gym, chores, etc.).
- Get out of the home office sometimes
In pervious post I have discussed making sure you get out of the home office and go have conversations with people around you. I 110% believe in this step and if you don’t have the luxury of this every day of the week, try and at least get out during your lunch hour or take a break at the local coffee shop. It can be your own personal “water cooler” and you never know who you may run into.
Working from home isn’t always easy and of course isn’t as luxury as many claim it to be however, if you take steps towards you can achieve the professional and personal balance.
Author: Julie Davis