- by Don
If you work remotely, whether you work from home or in an RV, you’re around your family, and you eliminate your commute. Furthermore, you don’t have your boss breathing down your neck monitoring your every move. And we just got through talking about creating scalable delivery so that you can add clients and not add substantially more work. So having better work/life balance will be easy, right?
Yes, we do want to design your work to improve work/life balance. After all, that’s one of the goals of the RV lifestyle choice, isn’t it?
The challenge is that when you work from home or an RV, you don’t have any “hard edges” or boundaries to your day. It’s really, really easy to start blending your work day and personal time. It’s all too easy to get distracted and do personal stuff or to allow family interruptions to take over some of your workday. And then you reach the end of the workday, and you haven’t put in a full day, so you need to do work during the time you had intended to have as personal time.
So how do you avoid this problem? Although it’s kind of counterintuitive, you need to set hard boundaries for yourself.
My friend Gary was one of the first people I knew who telecommuted. Gary worked for an engineering consulting firm, and when he was in the office, he was expected to wear a shirt and tie. So naturally, when he started working from home, we all figured that he’d ditch the formal dress and be more casual.
But Gary proved us wrong. Every morning Gary would get up, put on his dress shirt and tie, and go down to his office in the basement, shutting the door behind him. “It sounds crazy," he told me. "But it helps in two ways. I’m dressed for work and I’m in my office, so it sends a signal to me that I’m at work. Equally important, it sends a signal to my family that I’m at work!”
The more you let your work and personal life blend together, the less work/life balance you’ll actually have. But if you schedule your day, build your boundaries and follow them, you really can have more balance.
And—this is really important— those boundaries work both ways: once your work day is over, leave your work day behind and focus on your family and other rejuvenating activities.
What do you do to establish boundaries when you work remotely? Please share in the comments below!
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