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Keeping Balance when Working from Home

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Many people now work either part or full-time from a home office. How can we maintain positive relationships with others at home, but also stay focused and productive during our workday? As someone who's worked from home for over 20 years, I've learned several basic principles that can help you maintain a healthy rhythm between work and life. First is your work location. Try to set up your workspace away from the rest of the activity in your home. Mine is upstairs and away from the front entrance. If you're working in the same room you sleep, designate just a small area for work. And then when you step into that space, it's time to work. And when you step out, it's time to take a break from work.
Number two is sound. As much as possible, reduce audible interruptions. Many people hear conversations or noise around their home. White noise or music can act as a natural sound barrier. I had one client who put a fan in his office to increase focus. Headphones can work well for this too. Tip three is to create a time boundary. This is like a finish line, but it can happen several times within your workday. Discuss this boundary with the people at home. Establish specific hours when you're going to work and the hours you'll be available for others. I've found that if you respect those boundaries, others will respect them too. I've even had my younger children close the door to my office because they knew that it was time for me to work. They did that because I also stopped work at the established time and gave them attention. Tip four, give yourself permission to take short breaks. One of the joys of working at a home office is that you have the flexibility to do a few fun things. Give yourself an opportunity to go for a walk, take a breather, watch a funny video. This will help you be more productive when you work. If you want a deeper into this topic, please check out my course on time management while working from home. Pause for a moment and consider, what's one improvement you'll make to your home office?

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