If you work from home already, you already know what this post is about. How do you step away from “the office” when the office is your house? Good question. The answer is that it’s going to take some time for you to figure it out for yourself. Speaking from experience, you’re going to need to make sure you can create a divide between your “time to relax” and “work mode.”
Here are a few ideas to keep your job telecommute job from taking over your life.
You may not need traditional office hours, but you do need to set aside a specific time to work.
If you can get all your work done at night, that’s totally fine, just make sure you actually do it. Take some time to figure out what time of day is the easiest for you to work, and the easiest for you to get a solid set of hours away from the rest of your life.
Once you’re finished with your daily tasks, be finished.
Barring an emergency email (if you’re in social media, the doctors of the internet, you may feel like emergencies are coming up all the time) you should take the rest of the day off.
When it has to get done, it has to get done.
Some days, especially if you have more than one employer, may become overwhelming. There may be a few days where all your work hits you at once, and then a few with almost nothing. You’ll start to learn how to plan for this setup… but the basic idea is to get things completed as soon as you are able to, just in case work starts piling up suddenly.
The 20-20-20 rule.
Avoid digital eye strain with this rule. Look at something 20 feet away from your screen every twenty minutes for at least twenty seconds.
Use your home office.
We think that having a room that’s your dedicated office space is ideal… but it doesn’t always work out that way. You may end up getting work done in the kitchen while cooking dinner for your family some days, and that’s okay too. One rule? No laptops in your bedroom. You’ll never sleep.
Go to a restaurant.
If your spouse is an office worker, they may have a difficult time understanding this need… but you’re really going to want to get out of your house at least one night a week. If you can afford to go to dinner, do it. If you’re trying to explain this need to your significant other, ask them if they’d want to have their Friday night date in their office. 😉
We’ll be doing a series of posts on lifestyle choices that help telecommuters… but the first thing on that list is that you need to get moving every day. Go outside and get a run in first thing in the morning, do some workout DVDs in between tasks. Don’t get glued to your chair.