If you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you know how difficult it can be to keep your work at your office and your personal life at home. This can manifest in different ways, from answering work calls during dinner, to having to take care of neglected personal issues when you’ve set aside time for work.
The ideal situation is keeping both of these areas of your life completely separate. In reality, the more separate they are the more at ease and de-stressed you will be. When you keep your work at work and your personal life at home, you create a safe space away from stress while maintaining a professional area for productivity.
This can sometimes be impossible, though, when your life is revolving around getting a small business off the ground. Think about how much effort it takes to get your business off the ground – when there’s so much to do, is it possible to keep these areas of life separate?
The Answer Is…?
Yes. The solution is to be willing to sacrifice more home time to working, but the boundaries still need to be set.
Say that you get seven hours of sleep a day. This means you have 17 hours a day for yourself. Take away three hours for showering, eating, restroom breaks and other miscellaneous time for other needed functions. This means you have 14 hours to split up between your personal life and work.
In a normal situation, you may commit yourself to an eight hour work day, but during your business’ early stages you may need to make room for 10 hours devoted to work.
This isn’t a bad thing. A small business needs nurturing. The problem arises when after those 10 hours are spent, you’re still in business mode when you need to worry about your stress and rest.
Setting up boundaries is the first step, then you’ll need to implement a way to maintain these boundaries.
One of the most obvious ways you’ll try to blur those lines is through your smartphone. This piece of technology symbolizes the line itself – you use your phone for both personal reasons and it’s also a great tool for business. The solution here is to separate the work-life functions of your phone as much as possible.
Learn how to turn off notifications for business emails when you get home and put your business apps in a folder that you keep on a separate phone screen. This commits you to the idea of “out of sight, out of mind.”
You’ll also need to learn how to commit to staying diligent and recognize that you NEED time away from work. When you rest at home, you aren’t slacking off or being lazy – you’re giving yourself time to recharge and relax in order to better your work performance.
This means being very diligent about where your boundaries are. Try this method out: when you get home, leave your phone on an end table or in a drawer for an hour to help wean you away from the idea that you need to work while you’re at home. The more you separate yourself from the idea you have to keep working at home, the less you’ll feel compelled to do so.