How To Put Up A Big Wall Between Your Personal And Professional Life
Keeping your personal and professional life separate is essential if you want to feel happy and fulfilled. Unless you are in love with your work, you need boundaries between what you do outside of the home, and what you do in it.
Of course, this separation is no longer as easy as it was. Historically, people went to work outside of the home and then came back in the evening to their family life. If people wanted to get hold of them, they had to phone a landline.
With remote work, smartphones, and the cloud, things are different today. Theoretically, you could work from anywhere, even your bed.
As such, many people are looking for ways to separate their home and work lives better. Physical boundaries no longer matter, so many tactics are now digital or psychological.
So, what’s the trick to putting up a big wall between your personal and business life? Let’s take a look at some of your options.
No Fraternizing With Coworkers
The first option is not to fraternize with co-workers. Basically, this means you don’t date or marry people you work with.
You can’t obviously make this policy official. However, you can stick to it personally, ensuring that you never get into a situation where your partner is bringing work home to you.
When you adopt this policy with other people, it makes it clear where you stand. Your love life is something separate from work, and that’s the way it should stay if you want to protect your personal life.
Avoid Office Drama
The next tip is to avoid office drama. Essentially, this means not involving yourself in other people’s disputes.
Office politics can balloon out of proportion when people are unable to get a sense of perspective. Remember, you can always use your experience with your existing firm to apply for a job at another company if things aren’t working out.
Office drama usually starts with gossiping or complaining. People talk about others behind their backs or moan about their caseload or the amount of work they have to do.
Cutting this drama out of your life makes it easier to leave work where it belongs: at the office. When you ignore or avoid it, you are far less likely to bring it home.
Create Personal And Business Social Media Accounts
Another pro tip for putting up a big wall between your personal and professional life is to set up various social media accounts for work and play. Official work social media is for things like networking, while your personal one is for sharing pictures of your cat or what you had to eat for breakfast.
Keeping these separate lets you browse social media platforms without having to interact with work. For example, you might have a policy of online using your personal account at the weekend so you can leave work alone.
Creating two social media accounts might sound like a hassle, but it can make a tremendous difference in your well-being. You can focus on your close personal contacts instead of constantly being reminded of business colleagues and partners.
Create Two Numbers
You should also have two numbers for your phone to make it easier to screen calls and communications. Having the ability to mute business communications at certain times of the day can be highly beneficial.
According to YourBusinessNumber, creating two separate numbers for business and personal use is easier than ever before. Unfortunately, most people are unaware these options exist.
“Services like ours let people create two numbers for their WhatsApp; one for business calls, and another for everything else,” the company says. “We wanted to create a situation where people didn’t feel stressed every time they opened their messaging apps, just because all their communications were in the same place.”
This approach also deals with the challenges of owning a second phone. “People dislike having to carry around a second phone. It’s inconvenient and expensive. A much better option is to divide an existing phone into two virtual phones and then control when various numbers provide notifications,” says YourBusinessNumber.
This approach will appeal to many busy business people who want a separate number but don’t want to carry another device around with them. YourBusinessNumber says that it is possible to install a new business number on an existing phone with WhatsApp installed, so hardly any additional work is required. Owners simply receive a new business number they can use within the messaging app and switch off whenever they want.
Various businesses can benefit, including fashion retailers, people who work from home, restaurant owners, plumbers, electricians, and builders.
Set More Boundaries
Another way to put up a wall between your personal and professional life is to set boundaries. That means saying “no” more often than you do currently.
You can say no in various settings. For example, you could have a policy of not drinking at work. (This is mandatory in some firms, but encouraged in others, which is confusing).
You can also say no to taking office computers and laptops home with you, after your contracted hours. Continuing to work eliminates your ability to enjoy your family life and makes you feel stressed.
Get An Answering Service
If you are still struggling, you might want to consider getting an answering service. Here, a personal assistant takes calls and emails for you, creating a buffer between you and the caller.
Again, how you approach this is a matter of personal preference. If you want to take a call at the weekend you can. Alternatively, your assistant can arrange a call-back during working hours.
Keep Your Notifications Under Control
Finally, it’s a good idea to control the number of notifications you receive when not working. Constantly getting pinged prevents you from getting out of work mode and concentrating on things in your personal life.
Many phones have a “do not disturb” mode. This means they won’t notify you if your boss is spamming you with emails and stopping you from sleeping until the next working day or Monday morning if it is the weekend.
(Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)