Have you been feeling a lack of motivation and productivity since you’ve started working at home? Not so much with your work, but more so with your personal life? With so many of us working from home, it may be trickier than ever to juggle our work/life balance. While our mundane office view has now switched to one of couch pillows and silent Netflix films playing in the background, we can’t forgo our personal boundaries along with business attire.
Don’t get me wrong, being at home has had its perks. I have saved time and money on gas, the office drama has not followed me to my couch and the snack breaks feel like a good chance to stretch my legs. However, I can’t deny how the days have seemingly turned into one.
Not to mention, I find myself working later into the day because of the work access I now have at home! More than ever, it is important to keep our work and personal boundaries defined. Not only for our mental health but to also protect our sense of rest at home.
Change out of those pajamas
It is helpful to change out of your nighttime attire and switch to your daytime attire. Lately, I have been feeling like I have a whole wardrobe of pajamas. I have my regular pajamas, my sweat pajamas, my fancy pajamas, and even my work pajamas.
I can’t, however, deny the power of productivity that follows a shower and change in wardrobe. It carves a spot in my mental space as if to drop a flag in the sand and creates a habit to begin working. While I have loved my pajamas, I have humbly realized the power they hold over my productivity. Invite yourself into a change of pace by carving the mental space of a work outfit.
Create a separate space
Do your best to create a separate place for your work activities. Keeping your workspace on one desk, table, or in one corner of the room can promote your physical boundaries to not bleed over into the rest of your day. It is so easy for the days to blend together when we work where we eat, eat where we sit, and sit where we sleep. Bonus points for allotting a porch chair to work from! The outdoor breeze and sun on your skin can positively affect your mental health.
Set boundaries with your time
Be sure to define your work day by stopping at a certain time and putting your work related items to the side. Take two minutes to stand, stretch, and practice deep breathing. After a long day of physical stagnancy coupled with possible mental stress or mental monotony, relaxing your body and clearing your mind can calm your nervous system and allow you to separate yourself from work. By creating these boundaries with your time, you can separate your work from your personal life, which will benefit your mental health during these uncertain times.
Give your phone a bedtime
Putting your phone down at a certain time is a healthy habit, whether you are working at home or not. Creating a spot for your phone can help you be more present with those you live with. Many of us have been tucked away for two months, and disconnecting from our phones and from work can encourage us to stay present, which is so valuable during such a precarious time. So, lay your phone down to sleep, sing it a lullaby, and connect with those around you.
Connect with others in the same boat
Going from seeing people everyday to completely social distancing can be a shock to the system that many people are experiencing. Luckily for us and our technological capabilities, we can hangout with others virtually. This is great! We can still connect with others in the same boat.
The camaraderie and connection can help us feel a sense of normalcy. Host weekly entrepreneurial pep meetings or meet with your friends that are also working from home on a consistent basis. Ask them how they are feeling and coping. Tell them how you are struggling and thriving. Show up with honesty, vulnerability, and authenticity, and then empower each other as we continue work in a new way.
Our homes are intended to be a sanctuary, a respite, and a place to recharge after a stressful day of work. Protecting this can be a habit worth preserving. However, with our work life now sitting side by side with our personal life, our sanctuary can feel a little less restful.
Implementing these tools to maintain a sense of normalcy at home can be so helpful with separating your home space and your work space. If you continue to practice having boundaries with your time, space, and mentality, I think you will experience more connection, less stress, and an overall sense of longevity as you work from home.