Separating Work from Home





If you are following me on Instagram, you know we are knee deep in home renovations and that planners (lots of planners) are on the way. Pardon me while I scream into a pillow.   One of the most exciting rooms completed in our renovation is my new home office!  I am over the moon about this new space.  I was using one of our bedrooms as an office before but it had become a complete catch all and wasn't really my style aesthetically anymore.  My new office is right inside the front door which brightens the whole area and will (hopefully) motivate us to keep it organized.

 If you are new around here, I work in the financial industry for my 9-5 and then run this blog space and my planner company from home.  This is not always easy.  When working at home, distractions are everywhere.  Dishes to be washed, clothes to be folded, organizing to be done.  I don't have a ton of time to work on these side businesses so I have to make the most of what I have if I want to sleep.

I have found a few ways to make working from home work for me and for my business and wanted to share those with you!

Designate a work area.

Pick a space that is for work and work only.  I am very lucky that in this renovation we were able to build a new home office for me.  Right now we have extra bedrooms but we knew that one day if we decided to have a family, we would lose that space.  Designating a spot in our home that functions only as a home office will allow me to be in work mode as soon as I walk in.  I know not everyone can have an entire office space but it is important to designate an area for your computer, files, bills, etc.  Maybe it’s adding a desk in the corner of your kitchen or in another room.  Just pick a space that you can organize your work stuff in that you can make quiet so that you can focus.

Here are a few of my favorite desk options: 
Option 1
Option 2 
Option 3

Make your work area conducive to actually getting things done.

Keep everything in one place.  If you have work stuff strewn all over the house you are going to waste precious time looking for things when you could be marking things off your to-do list.  I recommend going as paperless as possible (I love Dropbox and Google Drive) and developing an organizational system from the get-go so you don’t have papers or receipts everywhere.  I say this from experience.  I am still fighting the influx of paper but it’s so much easier since I have a system in place to handle it.  

Remove distractions.  We used to have DirecTV hooked up to my old office.  Yes, it was nice to clear the DVR while I worked but how much time did I lose to being distracted?  More than I realize I'm sure. You can listen to music but choose instrumental.  I love listening to music and podcasts but I can only do that while working on certain activities.  You'll learn what works for you but if it distracts you, remove it from your area.




Create boundaries.
Working from home is about literal and figurative boundaries. Creating a space that is comfortable, prepped for work, and solely designated for work will make it so much easier to be productive while keeping you away from Netflix binging in your bed. I need this separation.  I tried doing home & work tasks at the same time and it just doesn’t work for me.  I set “work” hours and try to stick to those as much as possible.  When I go to my office to work, I try to only do work during that time and not take personal calls, do laundry or clean - no matter how tempting.  Getting my work done allows me to shut down the computer and step away to focus on my husband and home stuff at night (what really matters). 


Now, I will tell you this is something I’m currently struggling with again.  My schedule at my day job changed when we moved to our new office location and I’m having to redesign my work from home schedule.  Previously, Tuesday’s were my days off and I had the whole day to work at home.  It took a while but I had a routine that worked and kept my days structured so I could accomplish a lot.  Now that has been turned upside down.

We moved into our new location in June and between getting settled at the new office and renovating, my schedule has been wonky and all over the place.  Productivity has suffered and so has sleep, the ability to relax and just happiness in general.  It’s time to get a new plan in order.  I am now working 5 days a week with two long days and three shorter days.  That sounds great in theory but going from day job work mode to home and switching modes is more challenging than I expected.  I am currently testing out a new schedule and how I want to handle working from home going forward.  After I finish getting the kinks worked out, I will definitely be sharing it with you all!  I'm thinking maybe a post sharing my schedule, how I batch tasks and how I set up my days to get the most out of my work time.

Let me know what you all want to know about my new schedule and if you have any work from home tips, please share them in the comments!

5 comments

  1. Once I turn on the TV, I am usually a goner when working from home, so I know exactly what you mean! Hope you are able to figure out a good schedule that works for you!

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  2. The sneak peaks of your home office are amazing. We went through a home renovation two years ago and I wanted to scream in a pillow a lot too.

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  3. These are great tips ~ Thank you so much! I work remotely too and I enjoy time blocking in 45 min (bigger items) and 15 min (tiny tasks).

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  4. I love this! I am going to show my husband your post. Sometimes he props down in the kitchen or in the living room to do work and takes calls there when we have an actual office space! Lol. We also are in need of a good office chair, but as soon as we have that I'm sure we will be able to separate work and home. Thank you so much for sharing!

    -PerlaGiselle | iamperlita.com

    P.S. I am hosting a $100 gift card giveaway on my INSTAGRAM tomorrow, Friday the 28th. Say hello and let’s follow each other!

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  5. One of the hardest things for me is keeping my husband from cluttering up the office and my work from home space. I swear... that man can find any clean space and fill it with stuff. He's done it in our dining room, too. It makes me crazy. I love the L-shaped desk because I like to have somewhere to work and somewhere to put my computer - those types of desks have been the best option for me both at my 8-5 and in my home office!

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