Last week I started a new series which centers around my work life. Since I now work for myself and this whole business owner/entrepreneur thing pretty much occupies my mind all of the time, this series felt like a natural extension of Channeling Contessa.
This week I want to touch on work/ life separation, not to be confused with work/life balance. People talk about balancing their work and personal life all the time, but what if you have trouble separating the two? Perhaps the phrases are somewhat synonymous, but lately I’ve really struggled with drawing a dividing line between my work and my personal life. Do you ever feel that way? I often feel like all my time bleeds together, which makes it very hard for my work mind to shut off.
I realize that because I have my own business, having a completely separate personal and professional life will never really be possible- and truthfully, I don’t really want that. I mean, I chose this path so that I would be doing something that I love, something that incorporated my personal interests- so naturally my work is going to overlap with my person life. But how do you mentally separate work related stuff when it is so heavily intertwined with your personal life, so you don’t feel like you’re working all the time?
For me, having a separate work space is huge. I do love working from home in the morning, but if I don’t go out and work elsewhere, it feels like there’s zero structure to my day and I never truly feel “done” for the day (I’m still forcing myself to accept this fact- it can be really tempting to stay at home!). I also try to be as disciplined as possible about not checking email late in the evening on weekdays or on weekends. I struggle with the fact that it’s only me. Every communication can feel like a direct reflection of the quality of my business, and so I should be answering emails right away, all the time… right? I know, deep down, that’s wrong, but I still have to work pretty hard to put that into practice. And lastly, even though I feel I’m struggling specifically with with work/life separation, making a point of keeping my work/life balance in check helps. Making an effort to go to the gym regularly, take time to make dinner, read and spend time with friends keeps my mind busy with other stuff-meaning I’m not thinking so much about work.
It’s a constant struggle, but one of the biggest hurdles was realizing this (like everything else in my new work life), is going to take more time than I anticipated. Patience, where are you??
Do you ever struggle with work/life separation? Whether you work for yourself or not, I’d love to hear your ideas and tactics for maintaining balance and separation!