WORK TIME OR OWN TIME?
10 tips on keeping the boundary.
Working from home? Are you finding that your personal life is merging with your work life? Are you feeling exhausted with being on ‘the treadmill?’ This is the way that burn out can start, which is no good for productive work or for your own well being. Try putting the following tips into practice and feel the difference.
1) Wear the right clothes. When coachees tell me that they don’t change out of their pyjamas when they start work and wonder why they are so tired, then we look at what they are wearing! It does make a difference to your energy levels and concentration if you wear what you would to the office or other workplaces. Equally, change out of work clothes when you’ve finished for the day.
2) If possible have a dedicated work space that you can physically leave at the end of your working day. One coachee was able to have a hut built in their garden, others have hired an office space near home and some have been able to negotiate a return to their employer’s office, alternating with their colleagues so that everyone stays safe and maintains distance.
3) Take the breaks that you would at your normal place of work. Leave the lap top and ‘phone. Eat regularly. Even with a sedentary job you need to maintain a level blood sugar for energy.
4) Take a short walk, your brain needs oxygen to think clearly!
5) Towards the end of your day’s work, write a few goals for the next day or coming week. Make those goals specific, measurable, realistic and time limited – be SMART.
6) At the end of the day cover your lap top and turn your back on that work space. Yes, you might want to use a lap top for leisure – but make a clear demarcation line between home life and work, so leave it for an hour or so.
7) Try to avoid going from one screen to the TV. Give your eyes a rest
8) Unless you’re on call, switch off your ‘phone and don’t check emails
9) Leave the house for a few minutes at least and hang anything left over from the job onto the nearest tree or lamp post. You can’t do anything about work related issues until the next day, so let them hang until you can! If they are still bugging you, take a pen and paper, write down your worries then tear them up and bin ‘em!
10) If your nearest and dearest want to talk about the day’s highs and lows, agree on a time limit – that way you both avoid getting into the ‘ain’t it awful’ game that we can all play at times and when it goes on without a time boundary, only serves to drag us down.
Try out these tips and I’m sure you can think of more. Good luck!