How to Set Boundaries When Working from Home
Growing up, I never imagined a career where working from home was possible. I honestly thought it was everyone’s destiny to rush out the door, sit in traffic for an hour, and sit in a cubicle from 9 to 5.
Today, I’m an online entrepreneur that can technically work from anywhere in the world. My home has become a place where I love, create, and work. While I love the liberty that working from home allows, I’ve also learned some key factors that are essential to making it work.
Below are some key tips to set boundaries when working from home.
Create a dedicated office space
Before I even resigned from my last corporate job, I spent time and money creating a dedicated office space in my master bedroom. Space is limited in my home, but early on I understood the importance of creating a space in my home where I knew work had to be done.
While I still work from the couch or my bed now and then, you can usually find me doing my most productive work in my small home office.
Set working hours
It’s easy and tempting to open your laptop at all hours of the day and work on pending projects. However, just because you can work all day doesn’t mean you should. Setting working hours can create time limitations that can help you focus on work during specific times.
As a mom, having set working hours is crucial to ensure I get work done during the day and be present with my daughter in the evening.
Practice time blocking
Time blocking is something I wish I had practiced since working a corporate job. Not only does it help you stay on track with assignments and due dates, but it also helps you set boundaries and avoid distractions. It can be tempting to give in to that last-minute coffee date invitation from your friend, so it’s crucial to set time and energy restrictions.
I use Google calendar for easy and user-friendly digital time blocking. I highly recommend updating your calendar weekly for accurate tasks and events.
Keep a dress code
One of the biggest myths about working from home is getting away with wearing sweat pants all day. While this depends on the persona and profession, I would highly recommend creating a work from home dress code. No, you don’t need a three-piece suit and pumps to complete the casual look, but you should wear something that makes you look and feel your best.
Even though I sit in front of my computer for hours at a time, I block the time in my schedule to get ready every day. Trust me, your confidence and productivity will thank you.
Keep a clean home
It took me a few months to completely build borders around my work and house chores. Going into the kitchen for a snack or lunch would sometimes lead to me washing dishes, cleaning the counter, or tidying up. Today, tidying up is a big part of my family’s nighttime routine.
Today, I spend no work time cleaning up. Instead, I focus on the work at hand that will continue to move my business forward.
Ask for help
Whether you need help with cleaning your house, setting up your office space, or caring for your child, asking for help is a great way to build boundaries. A big part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing you can’t do it all by yourself, so start asking.
Asking for help with childcare has been one of the most vulnerable, yet productive things I’ve done for myself and my business. It allows me more time to work, focus, and grow my business.