It can sometimes be hard to separate your private and professional lives. Yet this step is necessary in order to maximize both your family and your career success. Below are some tips for maintaining a proper work-life balance.
1. Keep Separate Email and Social Media Accounts
A Facebook page is a great way to promote a business. However, your peers and relatives will quickly get annoyed if you constantly push products or services on your personal account. Meanwhile, clients may get turned off by some of your unprofessional posts to loved ones. You should thus maintain two separate accounts: one for work, and one for your family and friends. You should similarly keep one email address for personal matters and another for work-related communications.
2. Maintain a Regular Work Schedule
Try to arrive to and leave your office at the same time each day. Even if you telecommute, you should set a consistent work schedule.
Your schedule should also include time for yourself. Plan weekly social activities with your family to ensure you don't get too caught up with your work. This will also encourage you to manage your time better during the rest of the week so you can enjoy your scheduled time off.
3. Leave Work at Work
When you are at these social events or just relaxing at home, avoid thinking or talking about work. Instead, focus on spending time with loved ones.
You should also tell your co-workers not to contact you with any business-related issues on your days off. If you do have to check work-related voicemails or emails while at home, set a designated time for doing so. You can then spend the rest of your downtime doing more enjoyable activities.
You may even want to consider turning your cell phone off entirely when you are out of the office. If you can't disconnect from technology completely, at least turn off your push notifications when you are with friends or family.
4. Be Willing To Turn Down Unreasonable Requests
You may be tempted to sign up for every work project at your office in an attempt to get ahead. However, this can negatively affect your private life.
Be sure to set reasonable boundaries with your supervisor. Let him or her know if you have too much on your plate. Don't be afraid to turn down assignments if you feel overwhelmed and need a break for personal time. Similarly, your boss wants you to do a task that falls outside of your regular duties, tell your supervisor that a co-worker might be better suited for the responsibility.
5. Keep Your Home and Work Spaces Separate
Whether you have a Boston office space or a cubicle in California, you should make it feel separate from your home environment. Keep all work-related items in your office and avoid bringing them home with you. If you telecommute, put your laptop and folders out of sight once your workday is complete.
Similarly, you should avoid bringing too many items from home into your office. Placing belongings in your cubicle could distract you from your assigned tasks and blur the lines between work your professional and private lives.
6. Limit Office Distractions
There are other steps you can take to minimize office distractions. Try to limit how often you check personal email or voicemail messages at work. Similarly, you should use the internet for job-related matters rather than posting on your private social media accounts.
You should also avoid discussing personal issues while on the job. That includes gossiping with co-workers or mentioning intimate details about your love life. If you know of any colleagues who frequently talk about these topics, stay away from them to avoid getting sucked into their conversations.
By focusing solely on work when you are at the office, you can further separate your home life from your work life. This, in turn, should help you reduce stress and increase focus.