People who work from home have many advantages compared to those who have to head into an office every day.
They don’t have to deal with traffic.
They can have full control over the thermostat.
They never need to wait in line for the microwave.
However, there are some disadvantages too! One glaring downfall of working from home, is the lack of structured office hours. As someone who has been an entrepreneur for nearly 12 years, I can tell you that this never gets easier unless you make sure it is a priority.
As soon as I wake up in the morning, I check my email. If any of them are on fire, then I take the time to respond before heading to get the kids to school. This constant connectivity continues all throughout my day – even during the last few moments before I go to sleep. There isn’t a moment where I truly shut off. I don’t have a train to catch. I don’t have an officebuilding to walk out of. I am living and breathing my work 24 hours a day. Thank goodness I like what I do!
Does any of that sound familiar? We talked a few weeks ago about being hyper-focused when you work from home, but setting office hours is an entire different animal.
I have spent many years living that way, and have only recently taken back control of my workday. It was a conscious decision but one that the entire family has benefited from.
I now choose to work from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There are days where I have deadlines and photoshoots and Facebook Lives that push me out of those parameters, but they are far and few in between. On a typical day, I shut it down around 4 – when all my children are done coming home from school. They need me too – more than any brand on my payroll.
How can you accomplish a similar range? You have to choose to not be available. It’s hard – especially in a digital industry where everyone is supposed to respond to emails within seconds of them firing off. If you make the choice, do not engage on the weekends. Do not engage after hours. Do not engage during dinner. In fact, the “no electronics rule” you may have for the kids should also apply to you. Unplug from work as if you would do if you left an office. Again, firestorms are a different animal. I’m not talking about the outliers. I’m talking about your average day.
You can do this! It’s PR not the ER.