Working from home is pretty awesome, especially if you work for yourself. You have the freedom to make your own schedule, and start and finish when you want to. Working on something that you love is the cherry on top of the cake.
It also means there is a blurred line between work and life — resulting in a constant struggle to balance the two.
It’s easy to forget that there is life outside of your home and work. Creating structure and “busyness boundaries is one way to find balance.
I learned this the hard way while I was running my activewear line.
On a typical day you’d find me:
Waking up at 5 AM
Heading straight to my computer
Taking a workout break about 6:30 AM
Working for the rest of the day, until around 7 PM (sometimes later)
With my workout break and lunch break (if I took one), I was working roughly 12 hours per day.
As the owner of a business (and pretty much a one-woman show), I felt like I had to be “on” all the time.
If I wasn’t at my desk working, I was thinking about work, and I was working through weekends. I became completely one-dimensional. If it wasn’t about activewear or wellness, I didn’t know about it.
I burned out
I didn’t realize how burned out I was until I went to Seattle with my husband for about seven weeks. He accepted a job there, so we decided we’d live bi-coastal for a while and I’d work on growing my business out there.
During our journey to the West Coast, we took time off and stopped in Denver. I finally stepped away from working for a few days and it gave me a whole new perspective.
It was like an “Aha” moment, but not as intense? I was so deep into running my business. I was working like a crazy woman — I forgot about a world of experiences outside of my business.
“This is what I signed up for, I’m running a business, and I have to work every single day,” Is what I always thought. While it is true, I also need to have a life!
Fast forward to today. I’ve decided to take a break from my activewear line this season. It’s a decision I’ve been flip-flopping on for over six months. After weighing all the pros and cons and measuring my level of happiness, it was time to take a break. It was a hard decision, but now that I have finally committed to my decision I am so much happier.
Right now, I’m focusing on photography and consulting. I still work from home and enjoy being creative. I’ve started writing about retail, entrepreneurship, and creativity & productivity hacks. I spend more time enjoying life by practicing balance and making busyness boundaries.
The constant hustle works for some people (more power to them), but it wasn’t working for me — at least not now.
These Are 5 Hacks For Setting Busyness Boundaries That Have Worked For Me So Far
Schedule time to spend with family or friends at least 2 – 3 times per week.
Keep telling yourself that it’s ok to take a break. It’s hard in the beginning, you may feel guilty, but your body and mind will thank you later.
Create a designated space in your home for “work” and only work in that space. Don’t work on the sofa, in bed, or at the kitchen table.
Choose 1 – 2 days per week to work outside of your home, whether it’s at a co-working space or in a café — get out of your home!
Schedule one meeting per week outside of your home with a client or friend who also works from home. Co-working helps me create a separation between home and work (and makes it feel a bit less isolating).
Are you thinking about setting boundaries? Even if you don’t have a plan yet, I hope that sharing my experience has helped you. To me, it’s most important to listen to yourself. Your mind and body will always lead you in the right direction to make the right decision.