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How To: Separate Work From Personal Life

How To: Separate Work From Personal Life

By Rohini Makwana

After a long day at work all you want to do is socialise with friends, or relax at home; maybe even spend some time with your loved ones.  But then you find as you settle down with your partner to watch a film the laptop is placed firmly on your lap, or the trip to the pub to watch the football is interrupted with a business call.  For many people separating work from their personal life is a challenge.  Here are a few techniques to keep a steady balance between the two:
It is understandable for a superior to have irregular working hours and take their work home.  However firstly, no matter what your occupation, set what the boundaries are in terms of your working hours well in advance.  Then ensure these boundaries are stuck to so that work time is still work time while the rest of your time is family, couple, friends and ‘me’ time. 
Working From Home
Designate one area in your home that will become your ‘office’ and use it solely for the purposes of work.  This means only be in this working space when you are working.  By maintaining a clear dissection you are less likely to be distracted by things such as the television and games consoles. 
Learn To Say No
Everybody wants success and when you have it you still want more, right?  Along with the other techniques, only take as much work as your body can handle.  Taking on too much work can not only encourage you to take the work home, it can also increase your work load and put strain on your body and mind.  The solution is to work in proportions that your body can handle, not your mind, and do not be afraid to ask colleagues for help. 
Keep Technology Separate
Keeping work technology separate to others can play a small but integral part in segregating work from your personal life.  Use a separate mobile phone and if you work from home and feel like you need landline, use a separate one.  This technique will keep people at work strictly as work colleagues.  When working from home, use a separate laptop or computer as this will encourage you to keep a strong focus on work and not be distracted by personal things on your computer or laptop.  Do not forget to only use these during your working hours.  If you own a tablet either purchase a separate one for work or use one to create different folders for work and social life.  This will help you keep more organised and keep work related files separate. 
It may sound obvious but socialise outside of your designated working hours and outside of your work area.  By all means socialise with colleagues but set a time where you can spend valuable time with friends outside of work, family and partners.  This will help take your mind off the emotions work can bring and keep a balance between colleagues and those in your personal life.  When on your break, try and go outside of your working area as this will help you rejuvenate you for when you are working.   
Set A Time Limit For Mandatory Fun
There is a high chance your company or organisation will strongly encourage you to attend functions, business dinners, fundraiser nights, maybe even more.  Always participate in these as a good opportunity may arise from them, but do not stay longer than you need to.  It is also obligatory to converse with people involved with your company or organisation, maybe even have something to eat.  People who go to these events with the mind set that it is a party often end up creating a blurred differentiation between mandatory work fun and their personal social fun.  Everybody is unique and it is simple to learn a niche way to differentiate fun and mandatory fun.  Set a time limit on these events and spend your free time having what you see as alternative fun. 
Apply these simple and highly effective techniques immediately and you will enjoy the benefits.  You will feel more motivated to work and produce stronger content as well as enjoy your personal time without any distractions.  Not to mention you will feel more relaxed and organised. 

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