Welcome to Better Than Wine, a series of short videos filled with simple solutions to help you cultivate a sense of calm throughout your day and night, with or without the wine:) Each episode covers a topic that makes our modern lives challenging, and I offer simple tips that can be easily incorporated into your busy day. Our first topic…Working From Home!
I remember the first job I had that allowed me to work from home one day a week. I thought I had won the lottery, and I was certain that is was going to be the change that created the perfect balance for me. It was a disaster. I spent most of those days in my pajamas until noon, juggling dirty laundry, whining kids and squeezing in conference calls while getting little accomplished and feeling like a lousy mom and employee!
Over the years I have gotten much better at working from home. Whether you work from home full time or have a job that requires some extra work in the evenings, having some strategies can make you efficient, productive and keep your work from seeping into every aspect of your life.
1) Have a designated work area.
When you carry your laptop from the couch, to the kitchen table, to the bathroom and to bed it allows your work to bleed into every aspect of your home life.
Pick a spot in the house to create a designated workspace. You don’t need to have a grand home office, just a specific spot where you will tackle the work part of your life. By doing this you avoid carrying your work with you everywhere you go, both physically and mentally.
2) Schedule your work. Set deadlines.
Need to get some stuff done after work in the evening? Schedule time for your work and talk to your family about it, rather than working bit by bit throughout the evening (I see you making that Mac N Cheese while responding to work emails!). Scattered work is not efficient or productive, and it also leaves you feeling awful (see the intro paragraph to this post!). You get a lot more done when you can be focused and uninterrupted, and it won’t take nearly as long nor will it hang over you and your family all night.
3) Don’t beat yourself up!
If you have to work from home, don’t beat yourself up over it. Doing so only adds to your suffering. Recognize that working from home doesn’t mean you have failed at achieving balance and happiness — in fact, working from home might mean just the opposite — it might mean it allowed you to leave work early to catch that midweek soccer game or get home for a family dinner. Focus on quality of time with your family rather than the quantity. Being present and engaged for a short period of time is far more meaningful than always being half there.
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