Creating Time Boundaries in the Home Office

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

Working out of a home office is both a benefit and a challenge.  After many years of battling Boston traffic I will say my current commute is a delight and takes me …8.5 seconds (11 seconds if I have to move the sleeping cat) But home life distractions can powerful and constant.  Before you know it the day is done and not much work has been accomplished.  Like all organizing projects, organizing ones time to reap productivity requires planning and actions that are intentional and repeated so that a habit is formed.

Simon Mackie at WebWorkerDaily has some hints about creating time boundaries for the home office worker

1. Have a clearly defined end time and stick to it.

Mackie suggests having a goal end time increases productivity and efficiency.  Also have pre-determined times for breaks and lunch

2. If you need to use the Internet after the work day is finished, don’t open your work email.

We all know the dilemma of taking a quick peek only to realize 2 hours later the quick peek turned into another email processing session. Avoid the temptation.

3. If possible, have a home office in separate room designated for the purpose of only working or use a drop leaf-table as a desk and fold it away at the end of the day.

Creating a specific zone to define the “WORK AREA” helps separate and therefore create another boundary to “HOME AREAPhysical separation clarifies mental separation.

4. Towards the end of the day, try to get out of the house or do something that says “work day over”.

In other words, once you leave the coffee shop…the work day is done! Maybe it’s simply going to the mailbox but establish an activity that clearly marks the end of your work day and creates another time boundary.