Every working professional has been striving to find the perfect balance between work and life since the beginning of time. We need to work to sustain our lifestyles, and we need to indulge in our personal lives to have enough energy for work- it’s a tricky balance to maintain. But what about those of us that actually work from our own homes? It’s harder to draw a line between professional and personal when your “office” is mere feet from the play room that’s just begging to be picked up. If you find yourself constantly asking, “Where do I draw the line?”
Try out these four tips to separate your personal and professional lives, while maintaining a successful at-home business:
Schedule down time.
If you’re like me, you could go, go, go from sunrise to sundown without so much as taking five minutes to read the paper or enjoy a meal sitting down (so seems to be the case with most entrepreneurs). Though, I have found that if I keep up this schedule, within two weeks or so I’ll feel as if I’ve hit a brick wall. I become exhausted and scattered with little warning. But If I force myself to schedule in little bits of down time throughout the week, I never hit that wall. Even if I go walk to get myself a cup of coffee at the nearest coffee shop after I get through my morning emails a couple times a week, I feel so at peace just from getting outside and taking a minute with myself to think.
Create separate areas.
When your office and your living room are the same thing, the lines between work and life are especially blurred. Even if you don’t have the room for an entire office in the house, try and keep your “working space” separate from everything else. Don’t watch TV, eat big meals, or anything else not work related in the area you have designated for working. This way, when you sit down to work, your body and mind already know that this is a place for business, not leisure!
A little exercise goes a long way.
According to WebMD, getting a little exercise in can make you more productive throughout the day. Even though you probably feel like you’re short on time and energy as it is, it may be worth it to wake up that extra hour early to exercise. WebMD recounts one specific woman’s experience with working out a couple times during the work week, “It’s been a real boost in terms of the way I feel for the rest of the day. I feel like my head is clearer and I’ve had a little time to myself.”
Hold onto your weekends.
Ask any new entrepreneur and they’ll laugh at the notion of a weekend. When you’re first trying to get your business up and running, most small business owners kiss their weekends goodbye. Though, once they get in the swing of things, those weekends should come back! Unfortunately, most small business owners get so accustomed to never taking a day off, they continue to work that way. Of course you should peek at your email a couple times over the course of two days, but resting can be just as important as working in terms of business health.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.