In the past two and a half months the majority of the world has been transitioning their job roles to better fit the current state of the world. For most of us, that means working from home.
While it’s been great writing marketing plans with a sleeping doggo on my lap, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Weird saying because rainbow means there has been rain but maybe it works for this situation. It’s great working with the pets but this has come from the rain of a global pandemic.
I love the freedom of being able to wear whatever I want while working but it came at a cost at first.
Getting to roll out of bed and start working has its perks but it turned into a struggle to separate my work and home life. While working in the office the second I leave and walk through my door to a kiss from my boyfriend that means I am home, no more work. That’s my time to myself. When we first started this WFH life I didn’t have that physical line that divided my life and it made it hard to say no to work.
People always say you have to work hard to get where you want to be, but there are parameters. You don’t want to get to be 47 with millions but no one to share it with. And this was a hard realization for me to make in that first month. I would be sitting on the sofa with my boyfriend, watching some Brooklyn 99 and would get a message from work. Or I’d sit on my computer until 8PM waiting for approval on my work. I didn’t feel as if I could say no since the office was now my boyfriends couch.
I started to see the frustration in my boyfriends face but him being the supporting boyfriend he is told me to do me but slyly told me how when he got his job he was told to keep his work email off his phone. I retaliated with the whole ‘I’m salary, hours don’t matter.’ But my personal life does matter and my relationship DEFINITELY matters. And that hit me hard.
I don’t want my work life taking over my relationship. My career is my future but so is my boyfriend.
I’m sure this is how many people felt while first welcoming their work into their own home. Now that I’m further into this whole work from home thing I’ve set a few guidelines for myself. Here they are:
Just Because I’m Home Doesn’t Mean I Can Work All Night
There are still the nights where I work a bit later. My entire company is going through changes and we are basically an event company with multiple events each weekend. But that isn’t every night. My normal hours are 9-5 so that’s what we’re sticking to. Once I finish my last project of the day and it’s 5ish, that means I’m done. MY attention is solely focused on my needs and my families needs.
Lunch Breaks Matter
Just because I’m home doesn’t mean I should give up my lunch break. I take a lunch break everyday while in the office so I’m sticking to that. Our brains need that hour to refresh and our bodies need that nourishment. We shouldn’t starve ourselves of our break. Just because you’re working 10ft from your fridge doesn’t mean you should devalue that lunch break.
NO Work on the Weekends
I struggled with this REAL hard. This goes back to having no concrete divide between work and home life. I needed to remind myself that like lunch breaks are needed each day, my weekends are my time to fully recharge. I need those two days to sleep in and eat in bed and go exploring. If you don’t normally work on the weekends then you shouldn’t be working during them now. Working from home doesn’t mean home equals work, it’s just doing your normal work with no pants on.
Mornings are Me Time
I may wake up early but that doesn’t mean I need to start work right away. I’ve take my dog for her morning run and then have about an hour to do what I want. In the beginning I would start working at 8AM. I had to stop, it made the day feel way longer and my pets did not get the play time they deserved. Now I wake up, take the dog for her run, and then make some breakfast. Or, if I’m lazy, lay in bed on Snapchat all morning until it is work time.
Obviously if I have something crucial to get to, I’m going to do it. But for the most part I’m sticking to these guidelines unless there are extenuating circumstances.
I don’t want this to make it seem like I don’t value my work, because I do. I think about it all the time and I put my all into it. I want to be the best I can be at it so I put in so much effort. But I had to realize at some point that time does not equal effort. I grind from 9-5 but once it’s 5 it’s time for me to grind in my personal life.