Separating work from home when you work at home

This week I am working from home because of the current pandemic. I am thankful that I’m able to do so and am praying for those who are not. And while last week I was hoping that we would get to work from home, the reality is not as fun as I imagined.

One of the toughest things I’m encountering is keeping my work life separate from my home life. On a typical work day, I’m able to go to work, focus on work, and then come home and focus on the home – whether that be relaxing, spending time with my roommates, cooking, cleaning or spending time in the Bible and prayer.

But the boundaries aren’t as structured when I work from home. This has its advantages, I’m easily able to do a round of laundry while there’s a lull in my work. However, it’s also easy for me to look up and notice the time has gone by and I’ve worked much later than I anticipated and now I’m cooking dinner at 8 p.m. when I could’ve logged off several hours ago (at my typical time) and saved work that could be saved for tomorrow.

Another boundary issue that I’ve encountered is because I don’t have to drive to work (or even change out of my pjs if we’re being completely honest) my morning routine (which includes my devotion time) is completely thrown off because I’ll stay in bed until it’s time to log on and start working. So my devotion time is pushed off until later and sometimes pushed off completely.

Today is only my third day of working from home, but at the moment it is uncertain how long this could last – maybe just this week, but possibly a bit longer. So today I set and started a schedule.

I still give myself a little extra time in the morning to sleep in or relax before getting up and getting moving, but I still have an expected and set apart time to get ready for the day (because I just don’t feel as productive in fuzzy pajama pants J) and do my devotion before starting work. I’m setting alarms throughout the day to let me know when it’s time to finish up a task and get started on the next one. I even set an alarm to pause for lunch!

For those of you who regularly work from home, hopefully you can share some of your tips for managing your work and home balance. And for those who aren’t able to work remotely but are unable to go into the office at this time, I’d suggest you also try to stick to a schedule. And to take advantage of this forced down time. Have you been needing to clean out your car or your room? Are there any books, podcasts, devotionals you’ve been wanting to start? Add these to your daily schedule so you don’t get burnt out on a Netflix show.

I hope you’ll join me in praying for others as this is going on. There are a lot of different needs and all I’m able to do now to help is pray.


 

Hannah Muñoz

Hannah Muñoz is a regular contributor to The Scroll. She also is the digital editor for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Samford University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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