A work mug and a home mug — about zones separation

Transitional rituals

A work mug and a home mug — about zones separation

Work outside the home most often involves a set of accessories — a desk, armchair, computer with monitor(s), mug, weathered tea in the kitchen, and so on. All this reminds you of working time and is entirely separate from free time and home life, where your favorite flower cup, sofa, and gaming tablet are most important. Currently, however, all these artifacts mix and merge into one zone, which makes it even harder to distinguish between work time and free time and have a good rest in the evening or on the weekend.

So it would be ideal to have a separate room to act as an office and store all the necessary artifacts there. Then it is relatively easy to close the door in the afternoon and at least pretend before the family that you no longer think about work. However, most people’s reality is different: a kitchen table or the countertop doubles as a home office desk and the work computer is the beloved laptop that you only used to watch Netflix.

What can you do about it? Consider what you have at your disposal and come up with smart ways to separate (mentally, at least) your work zone from your home life. You may be able to scratch out a corner of your living room that will be used only to do work. Thus leaving the kitchen, armchairs, bed, and the sofa for the home zone. 

Perhaps you will find currently unused equipment that will allow you to reply to emails conveniently, thanks to which the tablet will still be associated only with Angry Birds and videos about puppies. Have fun and keep trying:

  • Set up a workspace (or study — a separate room) in a way that inspires you
  • Set a plan for the day when you work and when you have free time
  • Talk to your family about your plan (more than 5 minutes in advance), explain to them when you want to work and when you plan to have free time
  • Create a work playlist that you can change immediately after completing tasks for the day
  • Drink tea / coffee from a different cup than on weekends
  • Buy a separate planner
  • Sit on the other side of the desk than when you crochet in the moonlight
  • Minimize various sound sources – those who have worked in „open space” will understand this – it’s difficult to focus when children play a game that you feel like playing as well. You can quickly solve this problem – headphones!

All this will give you a substitute for what the office gave you before. You must also remember that it’s YOU who are responsible for the right attitude and finding solutions when you work from home. You do not have another person to tell you that it is time to end the coffee break and you need to get to work. You must own it and take matters into your own hands.

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