Maintain Sanity When Work and Home Share the Same Space
There’s a dilemma amongst many work-from-home moms and that dilemma regards boundaries. How do you maintain your sanity when your work and home share the same space? We’re not just talking about the physical aspect of sharing space, like trying to work while your two-year-old creates havoc on your desktop, or having your husband throw his dinner plate on your self-proclaimed counter of success… No, we are also talking about the lack of mental separation as well. Most work-at-home moms do not know how to simply turn it off.
Does that sound like you? Do you jump to your computer or smartphone for every notification you get? Do you not only feel like you’re spinning your wheels for hours but being totally unproductive as well? Does your family frequently ask, “What have you been doing all of this time?”
Well my friend, if you said yes to any of that, then this post is for you. I will discuss 8 tips for maintaining your sanity when your work and home share the same space.
I didn’t always have boundaries
When I wrote my first post for this blog, I was bright-eyed and optimistic. I had no clue all of the work involved in creating a blog that attracted paid sponsorships and clients. As a mother of three, I wanted to help other mothers, and eventually build my blog up to do it full time. I didn’t have any boundaries. There, in the middle of making dinner, right on our kitchen island that we use for a table, sat my computer. Amongst the chicken and yellow rice, was me, typing frantically during dinner. I had major problems with my work and home balance.
My rock bottom
I hit rock bottom when I started getting health issues (early 2016). My days consisted of constantly chugging coffee, never taking a break, and pushing my mental concentration to the max. I WAS ALL OVER THE PLACE. Hour after hour, I was only focused on email responses, social media engagement, and creating new content, all while trying to entertain the kids. My body literally shut down and I had major migraines, nausea, and dizziness.
Obviously, this was not solely because of blogging. I’m not saying that if you start working from home as a blogger you will develop health issues. What I am saying is this happened because I had no work/life balance. I did not manage nor pay attention to my health because I was entirely consumed otherwise. After I hit rock bottom, I declared that I was going to set some boundaries. Major things were going to change because, in reality, none of it was paying off.
So, now that you know the story, here are the tips.
Here’s everything you need to know to maintain your sanity when your work and home share the same space. Some may seem obvious, but maybe you just needed to hear it. For most work at home moms, it always feels as if there’s an undisclosed competition. Like we have to prove that blogging or working from home is purposeful. As you read these tips, keep in mind that your desire to work from home is there for a reason. This may be your unique path in life. The main takeaway from this article is showcase ideas that will improve your work and home balance, as well as your sanity.
Sanity tip #1: Draw a clear line in the sand.
Start by creating an actual plan of action for your entire week. Realistically map out a tentative schedule of what you should be doing every single hour. For instance, with me, I know that between 6:30 AM and 8:00 AM, Monday through Friday, I am commuting around town. Then, ideally, I need to give myself and my tag along two-year-old, a little refreshment time as soon as we return home. So, on my schedule from 8:00 AM to 8:30, it’s time for a snack. From 9:00 AM to 9:30 it’s time for puzzles, and so on.
After realizing the realities of the day, you can then set boundaries in regards to work. Draw a clear line in the sand and do not over schedule. Lastly, although all routines are not set in stone, by clearly mapping out your day, you at least you know what times are uncompromisable.
Sanity tip #2: Batch work.
With that being said, I get roughly 2 hours every weekday (naptime ya’ll) to run my freelance and blogging projects. There is no way on earth, I could get all of my tasks done without scheduling or batching up my work. For example, instead of posting to social media here and there throughout the day, you will be much more efficient if you take 30 minutes and schedule your entire week. Your feed will also become much more cohesive and you’ll be less likely to make mistakes like you would if you were doing it on the fly.
The batch work method also applies to your personal life as much as it does to your work. Food prep, house chores, folding laundry… do it all in bulk.
Sanity tip #3: Be honest about your priorities.
For me, family comes first. So does my health. When I create my weekly schedule, those things get penciled in first. I have to be honest about my priorities. If you find that these tips for maintaining your sanity when your work and home share the same space aren’t helping, you may need another adjustment. If the work you do from home cannot take a back burner to anything on your personal agenda, then it’s time to utilize tip number four.
Sanity tip #4: Recruit some help.
Babysitter? Virtual assistant? Photographer? You name it, you can hire someone to do it. Additionally, help does not have to be in the form of a human. There are plenty of apps that are useful to freelancers and bloggers. If you need a list, use my contact form and I’ll send you specific suggestions for what you may need. It is clearly possible to maintain sanity, even if your work and home share the same space.
Sanity tip #5: Beat the block.
If you find yourself constantly going back to your work, you might be screwing up your own productivity. Try reading this article I wrote about improving your mental state and adding creativity here.
Sanity tip #6: Get Feng Shui involved.
Nothing creates more harmony in the work and home balance than good ole feng shui. Although you do not need to take this literally, you do need a dedicated spot for your work. This means an area that is not in the middle of things and used specifically only for work. When your scheduled period of time runs out, you step away from the area and go about living the rest of your life.
Sanity tip #7: Turn off those blasted notifications.
Remember the tip regarding setting boundaries? That includes turning off those constant notifications coming from your phone or computer. Face it, they are totally distracting, interrupt your sleep, and cause nothing but worry. Should you really reply to email at 4:30 in the morning? Or while you are driving your older kids to school? Turn off your notifications and use your batch work scheduling to address them in an orderly fashion.
Furthermore, do not be scared to allow time for processing. Do you think Oprah or Joanna Gaines answer Instagram DMs in the middle of the night? Let alone instantly. No, they don’t and nor should you.
Sanity tip #8: Remember to eat, sleep, and rest.
It sounds simple, but when work and home share the same space, it’s often easy to forget. Make sure set incremental times to recharge and refuel. This can be as simple as making a smoothie, stepping outside for a few minutes, or even drinking a few sips of coffee on the couch. You want to step away from your computer and really enjoy your break.
Maintaining your sanity when work and home share the same space could take some practice. Just keep in mind the WAHM lifestyle is all about balance. By using the tips mentioned above, you’re sure to find that sweet spot between family life and client growth. If you have any other tips to add, I’d love to hear there below. Shoot me a comment and let me know how you’re doing.
Until next time, take care.