We all know that one person. You know, the one who is attached to their work phone? The one who has to leave social gatherings or wake up in the night to get that extra bit of work in? If you don’t know that person, it could be you.
While that’s an extreme, many Americans are faced with the difficulty of separating work and home life. It is tricky – especially for those of us in industries that expect 24/7 attention or for individuals work from home. It’s easy to see work and home life blur together.
Last year, the staff at Mayo Clinic wrote an interesting article about the work-life balance. Side effects of a blurred work/home life balance can include fatigue, lost time with friends and loved ones, and unobtainable expectations.
Check out these four ways you can keep your work and home life from clashing:
Stick to a schedule
If your hours aren’t set in stone, it can be easy to let work and home life bleed together. Whether you work a strict 9-to-5 or not, mentally “clock out” when work time is over. If something comes up after you’re done for the day, remind yourself that it can probably wait until you clock back in the next morning.
Set “no work” zones
If you find that your work follows you everywhere (especially if you’re attached to a work phone), designate “no work” zones. These zones can include restaurants, the bathroom, or your bedroom. When you eliminate the possibility of working in these areas, your work can’t follow you anymore.
Steer clear of Facebook during work hours
One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to keeping work and home life separate is to keep your home life out of your work. Nowadays, social networking websites like Facebook or Twitter allow you to keep in touch with all your friends all the time. The problem is, if you’re updating your status, are you actually working? Your boss pays you to get the job done when at work; it’s not fair to them if you’re wasting work time.
Defend your free time
Everyone’s situation is different. Sometimes you can’t completely separate work and home life. However, whatever time you do carve out for yourself is worth defending. If your boss is upset with you for not answering your phone on a Sunday morning, don’t be afraid to (politely) defend your free time.
How do you keep your work and home life separate? What works for you?