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Separating Your Private Life When You Work from Home

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by Victor Valquez
(San Diego, California, USA)

When you hear the phrase “work from home”, it’s sort of misleading. Most have first thoughts about escaping the chains of a desk andworking on their laptops in bed while watching television. Nothing could be more non-productive.

This is because in order to be productive when you work from home, you need to separate your private or personal life from your work.

This includes separating non-work activities and places from what you do and where you go during your work. Separating private life from work is crucial to being productive when you work from home. Let’s look at a few ways others are successful at this.

They Separate Their Working Space

The biggest mistake many who work from home do is failing to separate the place where they work from the place where they live. For example, they work in the same bedroom where they sleep or in some other part of their house where there are people going in and out and creating all sorts of distractions. The best way to be productive when working from home is to convert an extra bedroom into an office space. This gives you a place to isolate yourself from distractions and gives you the subliminal mental impression that you are really at work.

They Use Their Work Space and Tools for Work Only

If you worked in an office, you probably would not be playing video games on your computer. The same applies for when you are working from home. Not only should you have a designated work space. Your tools should be for your work only. If you use them for both, it is too easy to use them for personal endeavors and not for productivity in your business.

They Set Their Personal E-mail Apart

A work-from-home person should have separate email addresses for work and personal e-mail. Otherwise it is too easy during yourworking day to answer those e-mails from your friends and family. While each personal e-mail might seem small and easy to answer, each time you do this the minutes wasted add up. Notifications of new personal e-mail should be turned off as well. In fact, it is better to turn off all notifications of new e-mail and respond to messages at pre-designated times.

They Dress Like They Are at Work

When you wear the same clothes that you do for leisure, it is easy to forget that you are at work. In other words, those who work from home in their bathrobes the entire day are probably not as productive as those who shower and get dressed in clothes they wear to a regular office job–even if they wear jeans. Business casual attire is usually the best for working from home and meeting clients.

They Have a Way to Capture Ideas

For those who work from home doing creative activities such as writing, it is never possible to separate the mind into work-related and personal thoughts. For these people, there should always be a way to capture ideas they have when they are not at work. Quick ways to capture ideas could be an open Notepad window, pen and paper, or even a smartphone.

In closing, many of these tips are have to do with controlling a person’s subconscious thoughts when working from home. These are the subconscious thoughts that tell your conscious mind that you are really at work and not at home even though it is your house. By keeping your subconscious thoughts under this guise, you can be the most productive while working from home.

Updated: November 9, 2013 — 10:47 am

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