3 Steps to Set Work From Home Boundaries So You Can Accomplish More (While Doing Less)
Are you working from home right now?
Maybe this is something new for you, or maybe it’s something you’ve been doing for a while now.
Working from home can be a huge benefit, allowing you to skip the commute, toss a load of laundry in during the middle of the day, and save money when it comes to lunch and coffee. Many people also say they’re more productive working from home as there are no workplace distractions.
But there is one thing to be aware of when it comes to working from home, and that’s setting boundaries.
The upside and downfall to this concept is that you’re just a few steps away from ‘the office’ at all times, creating an unexpected stress and need to work constantly. Many people who find themselves in this situation report feelings of burnout and unhappiness.
If you’re finding yourself in the same situation right now, you need to create some boundaries for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how it allows you to work less, accomplish more, and experience an increased sense of happiness and well-being.
3 STEPS TO SET WORK FROM HOME BOUNDARIES SO YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH MORE (WHILE DOING LESS)
Do you find yourself working 24/7? Do you think that’s actually allowing you to get more done and stay on top of more, or could your work actually be suffering as your priorities outside of work suffer as well?
The key first step to successfully working from home is knowing what your priorities are.
STEP 1: CREATE A LIST OF PRIORITIES
Think you already know what your priorities are? Do this exercise anyways! We bet you’ll learn something about yourself in the process.
Grab a pen and some paper and number from 1-5. While you do that, begin to think about your priorities. Maybe number one is your family. Maybe it’s yourself. Maybe it’s time with friends or taking care of a loved one.
Zoom out from work and rank your daily priorities on this list.
Maybe your list is…
- My family
- My job
Notice in this example, work is 3rd. This means you have 2 priorities ahead of work.
STEP 2: LOOK AT YOUR CALENDAR
Now that you have your list, look at your calendar. Your schedule should reflect your priorities, but you’d be amazed at how often people rank themselves and family high on their priority lists, and yet they never save time for either.
We’ll say it again – your calendar is a direct reflection of your priorities, whether you like it or not. If you’re spending all day, every day working, then that is your number 1 priority, even if it isn’t on your list.
With that said, it’s no wonder so many people feel unhappy and unhealthy in their careers, even if they’re working from home! Their priority lists and calendars are unbalanced.
And we don’t need to tell you that when you feel like you can’t care for yourself or your family, your work will suffer as you see yourself failing in these other areas of life.
Take some time to look at your calendar and block off time for your priorities, whatever that looks like for you.
Schedule in time for your top priorities, then allow work to fill in the gaps. Prioritize your time accordingly, and use these as work from home boundaries for yourself, sticking to whatever time blocks and allotments you allow. And if you’re a coach be sure to schedule your time for success by using these tips.
STEP 3: DON’T COMPROMISE
Ready for the hardest step? Do not compromise on your boundaries! Working from home means there is always work to be done. There will always be another task to do or another email to respond to. And it can be hard blocking that out of your mind when your desk is just a few feet away at all times.
There will always be more you could be doing. Understand that just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s urgent or necessary.
Stick to your boundaries and the time blocks on your calendar you create for them.
REMEMBER TO REASSESS
Ultimately, if you allow work to slowly seep back into the time you’re supposed to be focusing on higher priorities, your work will suffer as your priorities do, and you’ll begin to experience burnout.
You’d be amazed at how a single off day at work can through off the work from home boundaries you create for yourself, so remember to constantly reassess and hold that line for yourself. Your quality of work and your quality of life will thank you for it.
Do you work from home? Do you find it hard to step away? Share any boundaries you have for yourself in the comments below.
Looking for more ways to increase your productivity while working from home? Head here: 3 Steps to Manage Your Energy Like a Pro so You Can Increase Productivity & Decrease Your Time at Work.