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Separate Work from Your Home Life

By: Janie Franz - Updated: 10 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Attention date focus multitasking

It is critical to set boundaries around your work life and your home life. If you can do so you can be more present, more productive, and less stressed.


The first thing you need to do when you are looking at separating your work life from your personal life is to determine what is important to you. If making a lot of money and having a big house, new cars, and new gadgets are why you are working, then you might really enjoy working long hours at the expense of other elements in your life. However, if spending time with your family is more important to you, then you will need to look at how you can have real quality time with them and still pay your bills and have a few luxuries. To do so, you will need to work less and work more efficiently. Being organised at home and work and being focused will help you work more efficiently and keep you from letting your work spill over into your personal life.


Having an organised workplace and an organised home will help you find things that you need quickly, so that you can work and play more efficiently. You can access information or contacts quickly and can then work with the data or the person instantly. Being organised also can make you feel calmer and more in control of your life. This can help you focus more directly on the task at hand at work so that you can be fully present at home, without your mind being cluttered with work responsibilities.


Many people do not delegate for a number of reasons. But giving others tasks to do can help lighten your stress and free up more time to concentrate on work tasks at work and home tasks at home. Some people think that giving up tasks is akin to giving up control, when, in truth, you are more in control when you delegate to the correct person. Feeling that only you can do the task or do it correctly keeps you in control of those tasks but doesn't allow others around you to rise to the task. Look for hidden talents in those around you. If the person doesn’t know how to do the chore, train them. They will grow by your guidance and you will feel less burdened. You can delegate projects at work and chores at home.

And remember, that when you spend time doing something that someone else can do (and you really don't want to do), it has a price. Asking someone at home to help or hiring services can save you in the long run.

Time Off

Don't forget to take some holidays, and do so without your computer, email, or work calls. Try to get away every three or four months for a weekend. It doesn't have to cost much. Visit friends or relatives or splurge on a cozy bed and breakfast somewhere. The change of scene will do wonders for you. You could also go camping or rent a cabin. Ideally, if you can get away for a day trip somewhere, take the time to see the countryside or visit a museum you have never been to. This point is to see something different, to enjoy nature if you can, and to be away from your routine. New places and new people can help you put your work concerns away and have you concentrate on your personal life.

Another suggestion is to plan a date with your significant other at least once a month where you just spend the day or evening focused on each other and your plans together. Share your dreams and your goals. Talk about what you most enjoy and value about the other person. Though you may be physically intimate, the goal of these dates is emotional intimacy and deep conversation. This grounds your reality with your partner.

The Myth of Multitasking

Though the hallmark of the twenty-first century has been multitasking. In reality, it isn't a good policy. When you do several things at once, you don't focus on any one task. Mistakes are made and everything becomes slipshod. Also, when we multitask, we often aren’t giving another human being our full attention. We half-listen and then carry on with our tasks. This does nothing to foster team building at work or personal relationships at home. It's best to do just one thing at a time and focus on one person at a time.

When you do, you can accomplish more, feel more in control, and be a lot more pleasant to be around. You also can greatly reduce your stress levels.

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