Challenge #3: Knowing when to stop

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The corporate 9-to-5 is a well-oiled machine. Set your alarm, travel to work, put in the hours, travel home, take those work clothes off—and relaaaaax with a glass of wine! You’ll take coffee breaks during the day, you’ll go for lunches with your colleagues and you’ll probably have commitments at the end of the day. You may work late sometimes but, at some point, security will throw you out and you will go home.

Working from home, the lines between work and play, house and office, can easily get blurred. When you’re super motivated and excited about your work, you can easily end up working all the time. And since your income is directly tied to the effort you put in, you feel guilty when you stop.

Technology makes all this possible, but you can end up being a slave to your laptop and your smartphone. “Ooo there’s a new email!” “Someone just messaged me on LinkedIn…” It never ends. You risk your work spilling over into your personal time and eventually crashing down around you.

The solution: Put. The. Phone. Down. Move awaaaaay from the computer.

You may love your work, but you know what they say about “all work and no play.” You’ll neglect your most important relationships, you’ll burnout and your work will suffer, making it all for nothing.

The best way to tackle this is to start putting in place some boundaries:

  • Create physical boundaries by setting up a designated work space in your house—ideally a study, but at least a little work corner.
  • Create virtual boundaries as well, putting your phone on silent when you’re having dinner with your partner, shutting down your laptop at the weekend and setting an out-of-office message when you’re on vacation.
  • Make sure that you communicate these boundaries clearly to your friends and family so they understand that your working from home doesn’t mean they can always call or visit.

Your ideal week may not be a traditional Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 set-up, but let work be work and then take some time to enjoy your life!