Work is such an integral part of life, but if one is not deliberate, work can overtake almost every aspect of life. This is one of the reasons why it is important to set deliberate boundaries around your work so that it does not erode your mental or physical well-being, your family or social life or other important areas of life.
This is especially so if you love your work, if you’re a typically driven and hardworking person or if you occupy a top or central position in your workplace. Then, the lines between work and life can become really blurred.
Apart from everything else, these are the days following the spread of the coronavirus, which has made it necessary for many people to work from home. While working from home has its perks for work-life balance and flexibility, it also has its drawbacks and could even work against optimum work-life integration.
Here are a few tips to help you to set effective boundary lines between work and other areas of life:
- Set a specific time to start work and switch off from work at the end of the day (or night, if you’re a nocturnal worker). Setting specific times for working (including or excluding your official working hours) will actually increase not only your well-being, but also your productivity.
- Keep a separate phone for work-related calls and messages. It’s better to have a phone that houses your work contacts and related emails and social media platforms. This way, it would be easier for you to literally switch it off at a specific time and check in only when you absolutely need to.
- Have at least one ‘no-work’ day in a week. You shouldn’t wait until it’s time for a vacation before you allow yourself to switch off from work. This will give your body, mind and creativity some time to be renewed, refreshed and reenergized. It will also help you dedicate time to rest and reflect, spend with family or friends or indulge in a hobby.
- Create a home office or home work-station. Taking your work into the bedroom or living room with you tells your mind and your family you’re always working. With that you’ll be saying hello to work-related stress everywhere you turn. Your mind will permit work concerns to seep in everywhere you are, and there would be no sanctuary for you at all. Creating a specific place for work puts you in the right frame of mind for work and also helps you to tune off when you need to.
Activating any or all of these tips will help to ensure that you’re productive and effective at work without losing your well-being and the other things which are important to you. So, which one will you try first?