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Knowing When to Stop Working When at Home

By: Rachel Collier - Updated: 9 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Knowing When To Stop Working When At Home

If you work from home, and especially if you work for yourself, there can be a temptation or pressure to work around the clock. Although the home office has a wealth of great benefits, there’s no faster route to unhappiness and reduced productivity than not knowing when to call it a day. Read our guide to helping you find a balance between work and play.

Clock Watching

The beauty of home working is that you can be very flexible, working evenings and weekends when necessary, or just when you feel at your most creative. The temptation to keep working and working can be great, though, and it’s important to recognise the signs that you’re taking on too much. Tiredness, irritability and stress are all signals that it’s time to slow down a little and take some time back for relaxation. Try to set a timetable for your work so that you are not often putting in many more than the average 30-40 hour week. You can still be flexible, but keeping track of the hours you work can illuminate the need for change.

The Great Outdoors

One good way to make sure you’re not overdoing it is to join a regular fitness class or take up an alternative hobby where you’ll interact with others. By taking part in a regular activity you’ll be forced to down tools and enjoy yourself a few times a week. The added benefit here is that physical exercise and having fun in general helps to lower your stress levels and better prepare you for an effective day’s work. Anything goes – walk your dog, go for a run or arrange to meet friends for regular coffee dates. Just do something that gets you out of the house for a while, ideally every day.

Family Affair

If you know you have a tendency towards being a workaholic seek help from your family and lean on them for support. Working from home might seem like a great way to balance work and family life, but in truth it can be just as tricky to manage as working in an office. Ask your partner or children to drag you away from your desk at a certain time every day and let them do so. Meal times and family activities should be prioritised well above your daily toil. This is also a good way to keep family relationships happy and healthy, preventing you from neglecting your part in the lives of your loved ones.

Knowing when to slow down or stop working won’t just ensure your sanity. It will also keep your house feeling like a home, and not a workplace. It’s all too easy to stop appreciating your home when you do nothing there but work, but it’s important that you can still find peace in your surroundings to help you switch off from the pressures of your job. By making sure you save time for hobbies, family and, of course, yourself, it will be much easier to achieve home working happiness.

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