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  • Jeremy Cooper

How to separate work from life

At Balanced Life we talk a lot about improving productivity, and this might not sound productive as you’ll be working less.


However, this is for your long-term productivity and mental health.


If you don’t separate work from life, then work often wins due to the pressure it imposes and the financial stability that it provides.


When you can separate the 2 it increases your enjoyment and your delivery in both.


With hybrid working or 100% remote it is incredibly challenging to split the 2, especially if you don’t have a different workspace for your work. Just having the ability to shut a door is immense.


If you spend too much time working it soon catches up with you, when I was fully work focused and not considering life, I let my health go, all my hobbies, but most importantly my kids (eldest mainly) stopped asking me to do things or help. I guess he got fed up with asking and me say ‘no, I’m working’.


Since I now separate the 2 better, they ask me to do stuff again. Blessing and a curse when they are asking me to watch something horrific (to me) on YouTube or want to make another Star Wars outfit from cardboard. That is probably my fall-back job if this doesn’t work.


However, it bring me so much more joy.


So, how do you split the 2?


The key is building routines both for the start and end of your working day.


Example Start of Work routine

Spend your morning on you and the family as needed, think exercise, reading, family breakfast…


At the start of your work time

  • Get a drink

  • Setup your desk or power on laptop

  • Spend 30 seconds eyes closed setting your intentions, what do you want to get out of today

  • Review your agenda/time blocking/ day plan.

  • Set a time you WILL STOP working. Try to be consistent each day

  • Most importantly don’t check your email before you’re ready to work, it will ruin your morning ☹


Example End of Work routine


At the end of your work time

  • Power off your laptop

  • Disconnect the laptop and put it away - symbolise the end

  • Clear away/tidy the room or space so it’s nice for tomorrow

  • Have a few quiet moments to clear work from your mind – I do release meditation if it has been really busy

  • Set your intentions e.g. I’m now a dad, I’m going to enjoy a family meal, I’m off to the gym to improve my body and mind

  • Leave the room or area


These simple routines allow you to build a habit, after all it’s what I’m all about, to separate the 2 and most importantly shift your mindset between them.


There is nothing worse for the family dinner and pulling the stress from the last meeting with you. Especially as there is nothing you can do about it positivity during that time.


So, the only possible outcome is negativity for your personal relationships.

There will always be times when the 2 cannot be separated due to a critical project or a big issue at work, however the goal is for it to be occasional rather than the norm.


That’s all for today, simple yet effective!


I hope you found this interesting and helpful, and I’d love your feedback, a follow, or a share.