How to Set Work-Life Boundaries When You Work From Home

Being able to be your own boss and work from home comes with many perks. The flexibility of setting your time and workload, and choice of locations to work from, such as being able to work when you travel.

Not to mention having a specific office or workspace just for you, and the ability to do more in a day because there is no commute. It can also be a good way to bring some balance into your life, especially if you have children and want to reduce the costs of childcare.

With the complete flexibility of working from home, as long as you get the work done, you are free to do what you choose. But, that freedom can bring with it quite a lot of late nights, rushing, and procrastinating if you are not careful about planning your time well.

With that in mind, here are some of the things that can help you to stay sharp, focused and motivated when you work from home. That way, you can get everything done in a timely manner.

Make the most of your work freedom in a positive way.

Dedicated Workspace

You may not have room in your home to create a dedicated office. If you do, kudos to you! But even if you don't, having a dedicated place to work can be really important.

If your ‘desk’ at the moment is also the dining room table, it can be hard to get focused and motivated for the tasks you need to complete. Instead, think about adding a dedicated work desk somewhere in the house, even if it is just in a corner of your bedroom. That way, you can close the door. Your family will know that when you’re sat there, it is time for you to work.

Creating a workspace environment that is conducive to productivity is half of the battle. Get a comfortable chair, get the stationery and equipment that you need, and go from there.

Set Working Hours

There are some days that you will need and want the flexibility that working from home affords you. For example, days when you or family have appointments or trips to the dentist.

But on the whole, being able to set specific work hours is a really good idea. You could even look up ways to boost productivity/ productivity journals so that you’re able to plan your time better by writing it all down.

When you plan things in this way, there is no wondering what you should be doing. For example, if you always check emails for an hour at 10 am. You know what you’re doing and when.

If you work better in the morning, start your day quite early so that you can finish quite early. If you work better in the afternoon or evening, you can adjust your work schedule accordingly.

Just remember to be strict with yourself. Don't work during “non-work” time unless you have a really good reason, such as to meet a deadline.

Take Breaks

Taking breaks may seem counterproductive, but they are anything but. When you take a break to clear your mind or curb your thirst or hunger, it makes it much easier to come back to your work with a clear focus.

Take a lunch break and get out of the house if you can, so that you can feel refreshed and ready to focus when you get back. If you can get your errands done on your breaks too, then you can feel less distracted when you’re ready to get back to work.

You won’t be wondering what ‘life admin’ is left to be done.

Separate Work and Home Life

Having both a work and home life in the same place can be tricky. It can be hard to switch off and be ‘regular’ you or ‘work’ you. However, being able to make the switch can help you to be more productive.

That is why having a separate workspace can be a really good idea, as it means you can close the door on your work life at the end of the day and be done until the next.

There will be a few occasions, ok more than a few, where the lines between your work time and home lifetime will be blurred. Accidents happen, especially with kids in the house. You will hear a crash while minding your own business and doing your work in your separate workspace. Get in the habit of outsourcing some of these duties, like getting the best window installation company to fix the shower door the kids just broke. Your stubbornness in thinking I will take care of that will eat into valuable time which you can use to grow your business.

Make it a rule that you have to get up, take a shower, get dressed, and be ready for the workday. You'll be less tempted to lounge around or bring your laptop into bed with you.

It's not like you need a suit or a full face of makeup on. Just get into something different than what you went to bed in, so you can differentiate from the two.


Do you work from home?

How do you maintain work-life boundaries?

Ian Walsh