July 3, 2023 Terkel

How Can You Separate Work and Home?

Achieving a healthy work-life balance can be challenging, especially when working from home. We’ve gathered insights from CEOs, founders, and other professionals on how they’ve successfully separated work and home. Discover nine effective strategies, ranging from minimizing interruptions to using clothing for mental separation, to help you maintain a balanced lifestyle.

  • Minimize Interruptions
  • Set a Structured Work Schedule
  • Establish Boundaries and Routines
  • Designate a Workspace at Home
  • Utilize a Co-Working Space
  • Focus with Headphones and Music
  • Establish a Wind-Down Routine
  • Consciously Disengage from Work
  • Use Clothing for Mental Separation

Minimize Interruptions

When I separate work from home, I make a schedule and stick to it. Whenever I have an assignment or task due, I set aside a certain amount of time during the day specifically dedicated to that task and only that task.

By doing this, not only do I make sure it gets done on time, but I also don’t overwork myself by staying up or putting off other activities until later. Furthermore, even when my “work block” is finished for a particular day, I still keep my phone away from me until after the rest of my commitments are satisfied—that way, there will never be an interruption in the schedule when non-essential work responsibilities take energy away from personal matters.

This strategy has proven beneficial so far, as it allows me to focus on one area at a time and not get sidetracked with too many things happening at once.

Michael AlexisMichael Alexis
CEO, virtualteambuilding.com

Set a Structured Work Schedule

Keeping work and home separate is key, and structuring a set schedule definitely works for me. I set specific work hours and give it my all to remain focused during that time. Not only does it make me more productive during work hours, but it also lets me enjoy my personal time without stress. Following a working schedule keeps me happy, healthy, and improving, and it’s the best boundary between work and home!

Diane HowardDiane Howard
RN and Founder, Esthetic Finesse

Establish Boundaries and Routines

When I started working from home, I used to be one of those people who had a hard time turning my brain “off” and ended up working longer hours. Once I learned to set clear boundaries and stuck to a daily routine, separating work and home became much easier.

I started by establishing specific “office” hours and made sure to sign off on time every day when possible. I used my phone’s alarm to help me stay on schedule and build a routine so I knew when I should get ready to sit at my desk and when it was time to wrap up at the end of the day.

To help my mind make the transition between “work mode” and “off mode,” I made sure that I always had an activity after work, like a sports class or dinner plans with friends. That way, I could truly focus when I was working and then switch off and enjoy my personal life outside those hours.

Having a consistent routine and starting with a little morning ritual that preps me mentally really helped me keep that work-life balance in check.

Eva ChanEva Chan
Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Senior Content Specialist, Resume Genius

Designate a Workspace at Home

Navigating the work-home boundary, especially when you’re working remotely, can be a bit tricky. One strategy that’s worked wonders for me is creating a dedicated workspace.

Here’s a fun fact—I once had a client who, struggling with distractions at home, opted for a unique solution. He bought a finished, temperature-controlled portable building and set it up in his backyard. This became his “office”, complete with electricity, a comfortable desk, and a coffee machine. His productivity soared!

Inspired by this, I decided to carve out a special corner in my home just for work. While I didn’t go as far as a portable building, having a dedicated workspace made all the difference. When I’m in that space, it’s all business. But once I step out, it’s personal time again.

So, my advice to you is to physically separate your work and personal spaces as much as possible. It creates a mental divide that helps keep work stress from spilling into your personal life and vice versa.

John WhiteJohn White
MBA | Sales Manager | Golf Instructor, Improve Here

Utilize a Co-Working Space

I have an office around the corner from my house. It’s my good fortune there is a lovely co-working space right in my neighborhood. I am fully remote, and not required to have a separate office, but this choice has been a huge help separating my home and work life. Both my family and my work have seen improvements since I made this choice in late 2022.

Trevor EwenTrevor Ewen
COO, QBench

Focus with Headphones and Music

I cannot stress the importance of having the right music playing through headphones when you are working from home. I have five children who we homeschool, and even when everyone is on their best behavior, it’s still loud. Having headphones not only drowns out the noise, but it puts me in the zone for work. It’s a must.

Jason VaughtJason Vaught
Founder and CSO, 805SEO

Establish a Wind-Down Routine

By intentionally carving out time for relaxation and self-care at the end of each workday, I create a mental and emotional shift. Whether it’s taking a peaceful stroll, diving into an engrossing book, or cherishing quality moments with loved ones, this intentional wind-down routine allows me to let go of work-related stress and fully immerse myself in the joys of my personal life.

It’s a transformative practice that empowers me to recharge, rejuvenate, and return to work with renewed focus and energy.

Mike RobertsMike Roberts
Co-founder, City Creek Mortgage

Consciously Disengage from Work

Achieving work-life balance is crucial for productivity and personal well-being. I’ve designated a space in my home as an office, allowing a physical and mental distinction between work and personal life.

At day’s end, I consciously disengage from work, closing business applications and leaving the workspace to pursue other home activities. This clear separation enhances my efficiency during work hours, as working longer or harder doesn’t necessarily translate to higher productivity or quality. Therefore, this division contributes to a healthier lifestyle and efficient work schedule.

Jamie BohannaJamie Bohanna
CEO, Sailee Technologies Ltd

Use Clothing for Mental Separation

This might sound a bit crazy. I have been working at home since the pandemic and I have found a way to separate work and home. This isn’t about the physical separation, and I am lucky enough to have a small office/room in the house dedicated to work.

What I do is dress for work. I don’t mean that I put on a suit and tie, but I do have clothes that I use for work and are separate from the normal casual clothes I wear around the home. This includes shoes, and they are quite important because I found myself living in slippers and flip-flops.

The major benefit is at the end of the day. When I finish work, I go upstairs and I change out of my “work” clothes and put on my casual clothes. It provides the mental separation that my commute used to do. After I have changed, work is over for the day and I rarely go back into my home office.

Paul BlundenPaul Blunden
Founder and CEO, UX247 Ltd

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