In this day an age (wow, I sound like an old foggie) with Blackberries, iPhones, laptops and all sort of technology at our fingertips, it is hard to draw the line between work life and home life. I think it is very important to find that line and stick to it in order to allow yourself to give 100% to work and 100% to life. By setting boundaries, would will be less likely to spread yourself too thin in both your professional life and personal life. Here are some tips to help:
1. Find out what brings you joy outside of work and make that a priority. You need to have something other than work that makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. This may be something physical like running or other physical activity. It may be creative like cooking, baking, reading, writing, drawing, or photography. Make time for these activities every day.
2. During the hours that you work, really really work. Try not to get distracted by little things and instead focus all of your attention on getting what needs to be done, and get it done. I used to have people in my office who would goof off on Friday afternoons playing basketball and video games. They would give me a hard time for not participating, but my thinking was that I would rather just power through my work and leave the office to enjoy my life outside of work.
3. During the hours you are not working – really DO NOT work. If you are distracted by emails and work issues, you won’t enjoy the moments that give you fulfillment. Number 1 and number 2 go hand in hand. Without these boundaries you will not be able to be 100% present in either part of your life.
4. Organize your space – both at work and at home. It makes your mind so much clearer and is one less thing to stress about. When your space is organized, the fridge is stocked, the mail is sorted you will so much more efficient and creative. Make to do lists, also. Have a work list and a home list. Crossing items off is rewarding and also keeps you on track and able to avoid last minute tasks you may have forgotten.
5. Organize your computer. This will save you so much time during the day. Being able to pay bills, easily locate files, emails, pictures, etc…will give you both sanity and time. Two things that we could always use more of.
6. Unplug. I really think this is the most important tip on this list, but it is also the hardest. You have to turn off your work life and have a couple of hours every day to be with your family and friends, to watch your favorite show or to have a glass of wine. It will help you stay excited about your work. This is hard for me because I enjoy reading blogs, articles, etc. online. So I have to make sure to avoid checking work email when I do that. And I try to make a conscious effort to put the computer away after dinner and just enjoy being with Aaron and Trigger, and our DVR!