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When You Work from Home, Weekends Matter

by Diane

Work from Home – Work/Life Balance

If you work from home, whether you’re a writer, artist or run an online retail business (like me), it’s very easy to forget the importance of weekends.

When you work from home, work becomes your world, 24/7.

When I first started my business, I also worked full-time, so by necessity I had to dedicate large chunks of traditional downtime, the weekend, to getting everything done.

Once I transitioned to working on my business full-time from home, I continued that habit. And, it’s a bad one.

Fast forward five years and I’m definitely feeling the negative side of the all work and no play equation.

I’m sitting at the computer for longer hours but I feel less productive. I get distracted very easily. I don’t sleep as well as I should. My energy levels are very low. In order to tackle these things, I’m reclaiming my weekends.

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Finding Solitude

I do my best to go for a walk every morning and that 30 mins of solitude helps clear my head so I’m ready for the day but it never seems long enough. 

The best way I’ve found to enjoy a good chunk of solitude, is to get out in the garden.

The sunshine, fresh air and activity have their own benefits but being able to toil away at a purely physical task, like turning over a garden bed in the kitchen garden is wonderful for clearing your mind, too. And, it’s amazing how everyone leaves you alone when there’s digging to be done!

Disconnecting Technology

When your work life revolves around technology, turning off your phone or computer is challenging. When you work from home it’s even harder.

I know that just catching a glimpse of my computer in my peripheral vision is enough to make me go check my email. It’s almost Pavlovian!  

Now, I do my best to turn everything off for at least 24 hours. The world hasn’t come to an end, yet…

Reflection

One of the side benefits of enjoying a reasonable period of solitude is that is provides an opportunity to reflect on the week that’s just passed. 

I notice that thoughts and ideas will bubble up while I’m working around the garden, when they do I note them down – just a scribble on a scruffy old notepad – then go back to whatever I was doing.

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Plan the Week Ahead

At some point over the weekend, usually Sunday evening, I take some time to plan out the week ahead. I don’t go into detail, just an overview of the one thingI want to achieve in the coming week – and that one thing becomes my theme for the week.

For example, one week I might choose to make the images in my online shop my focus, so during the week I’ll go through each product to see if I need to add pictures or edit the ones already there.

Another week it might be descriptions or researching products. This works really well for those times when you need a break from the sometimes tedious day to day tasks, kind of like goofing off but, productively.

These habits are a work in progress and I have to remind myself, often, to walk away from the computer but it’s getting easier each time I do it.

There are definitely occasions when I feel guilty that I’m not actively working on my business, but I know that choosing to give myself time off each week will pay dividends in the long run; financial, physical and mental.

When you work from home, giving yourself permission to take the weekend off is vital to you, your family and your livelihood.

Do you work from home? How do you handle weekends?

If you’re thinking of working from home, have you considered how you’ll manage giving yourself some downtime?

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5 comments

Sarah April 23, 2015 - 4:14 am

Great post!! I’m just now trying to get in the habit of taking weekends off. I never work all day on the weekend by any means, but I often write an article or two when my daughters are napping and I’ll blog in the evening after they go to bed. I decided a little bit ago that I was going to take Sundays fully off. In doing so, I’m also trying to not be on my computer that much at all on Sundays. Everyone needs a break!!!

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Holly@ClubThrifty April 20, 2015 - 10:09 pm

I mostly take weekends off unless I need to hit a specific deadline. My kids are home from school and daycare on weekends so it’s a good excuse to plan my workweek for Mon-Fri. I love weekends!

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Diane April 21, 2015 - 11:18 am

Having little kids under foot is a very good reason to make the most of weekends.

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Tonya@Budget and the Beach April 19, 2015 - 12:27 am

I almost never do any kind of video editing, but I do do blogging “work” even though blogging is really a glorified hobby…so the lines are blurred. But yes I feel like I have to do something productive in that department every day…I feel compelled. But I do think I do take an appropriate amount of downtime each day, so that’s something. Even during the week I don’t burn the candle on both ends, which can lead to serious burnout. I’m glad you are reclaiming your weekends!

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Diane April 21, 2015 - 11:20 am

It’s hard to ignore that need to do something productive every day. I just have to remind myself that productive comes in many forms.

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