Five ways to stop work interrupting your home life
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Five ways to stop work interrupting your home life

Workplace
Author since:
October, 2015
86 blog posts

When you work remotely as a freelancer or an entrepreneur, you step away from the normal barriers of working hours. It can be incredibly hard, at the end of each day, to focus on anything else. With modern technology this is especially hard; you can often carry the entire office in your pocket, 24 hours a day.

So, what simple steps can you take to ensure you are splitting the two areas of your life, feeling fulfilled both at home and at work?

1. Separate your personal social media from work

Social media is hugely important to promote and grow your small business. Over-promoting to your friends, however, can be boring for your personal friends. What’s more, sharing personal information to work contacts can be unprofessional, sharing more personal details than you would choose to.

This also gives you a cut off point for work, so you can carefully balance your professional and personal life. Check and update these feeds separately, at designated and appropriate times, rather than simultaneously.

2. Create diary notes for home and work

It is really hard in business, especially a new one that absorbs all your time, to say no to the demands of your clients or potential customers. There are times when personal life is more important.

Significant personal events such as birthdays, your kids’ concerts or even going to the gym are essential to your success at work, as much as your personal life. Highlight any events you’d like to attend by putting them firmly in your diary, and saying no to work occasionally.

There are lots of great platforms that can help you be more organised in both areas. These include making more use of your phone diary and to do lists, to downloading separate journal systems like bullet journals.

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3. Practice mindfulness

This isn’t as ‘hippy’ as it sounds! One of the best times to practice just ten minutes of mindfulness is at the time you’d like to finish work and hop back in to your home life.

There are some great apps available for this, one of our favourites is Headspace but there are many more.

4. Be in control

If you work with a team of people, whether you’re the boss or have busy, demanding colleagues, make sure that you draw the line when you need to. It can be very easy to spend too much time chatting or having an end-of-day beer with your colleagues.

Sometimes this is important to your professional life, but on other occasions this can be an unwanted intrusion to your time at home. If you are the boss, be the boss; make sure you don’t blur the lines, or raise expectations that you’re available 24/7. There are times when work can wait and should wait — make this clear to your colleagues.

5. Don’t take work home

Are you the person who always has more work to finish? Do you ever take it home to finish later? Ask yourself if it really needs to be taken home. If you want to give the correct focus to your work and home life, the best advice is do not take work home… ever!

This habit is certainly a bad one, but habits can be changed. Taking work home should be saved for very unique circumstances.

This is why so many people are moving away from home offices and working in shared workspaces like Workplace instead. Having separate venues for work and home really helps define and separate your home life from your work life, ensuring you’re productive both professionally and personally.

Up Next

Member Spotlight: Aaron Ferguson

Workplace
Author since:
October, 2015
86 blog posts

Workplace member – Aaron Ferguson of Berg & Williams is one of Workplace’s multi-talented members, not only is he a passionate advisor for growing businesses and Managing Director for a leading private dental Group but he is also an amateur pilot.

When Aaron isn’t flying through the skies he can be found providing valuable accountancy advice to small and medium businesses alike.

We managed to bag 5 minutes of his time for this week’s  Office Member Spotlight.

Describe your business in fewer than 15 words
We focus on using technology to solve problems and drive growth for our clients.

What inspired you to start/join your company?
I have always been interested in how business models develop and how entrepreneurs solve problems. Initially I built experience by training as a Chartered Accountant, working in employment and expatriate tax.

After about five years I got itchy feet, and began working in my ‘other’ role, as Managing Director for a dental group in North Wales. We’ve managed to double to around £3m turnover in around three years. The skills I developed in this engagement and a decision to study an MBA in Manchester pushed me to take the leap and start sharing my ideas and experiences with anyone who would listen.

What’s the best thing about being your own boss?
I suppose like many others I enjoy the freedom. I have a short attention span, so being able to keep myself involved in interesting projects and clients is great.

Where’s your favourite place for lunch?
I try and tell myself that visits to McDonalds are exercises in studying their business model. However, if I’m feeling a little guilty, then I’ll head to Philpotts instead.

What’s your favourite business app, tool or website?
We work with all sorts of tools and apps for clients so there are a lot that we promote.

I particularly like Domo – it’s a business analytics tool that allows you to build superb dashboards quickly and easily. Dashboards and KPI reporting are vital to understanding what is under the hood of your business and how it’s running. It can be a cathartic exercise for business owners if they haven’t done it before.

In terms of tools – I thoroughly recommend the ‘Business Model Generation’ book, a superb read.  Workplace actually have this in their library.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
Understand your destination.

What’s the one thing people should come to you for advice about?
If you feel you spend most of your time working ‘in’ your business, rather than ‘on’ your business, then we can help. A lot of entrepreneurs get dragged down by the realities of managing a growing business – we can ease this pain and help you focus (or refocus) on growing your business.

When you are not working what are you normally found doing?
I’m an amateur pilot, so when weather permits you’ll normally find me annoying Ryanair pilots over Liverpool. Apologies if I delay your holiday!

How can people learn more about what you’re doing?
I love to chat, so come and grab me – I tend to be in Manchester one or two days a week. Otherwise, take a look at our website – www.bergandwilliams.com

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