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Separating Your Personal And Professional Life: 31 Outstanding Tips

It is a challenging task to maintain your work life balance these days. This is especially true when you get into the working world where you spend most of your time in the office working.

Apart from work, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too. You need to spend time with your family, it will be crucial when you have children. You need to maintain your relationship with your friends, spend time exercising and maintaining your health, schedule for vacation, arrange a time for leisure, etc. It is not an easy task.

No matter whom you are, whether you are a doctor, the president of a country, a teacher or a student, time management or to put it in a more fancy word, life management is an important part of your life. You must learn to handle both your personal and professional life in order to get ahead.

And here are 31 outstanding tips that you can leverage and apply into your life to make things smooth, effective, and efficient.

Managing Your Work Life

This section is about managing your work and become more effective in getting things done. If you want to fully enjoy your personal life, you must learn to manage and handle your professional life effectively. Never let your professional life overflow to your personal life. Learn to manage your work life using the tips below.

1. Separate Your Personal and Business Social Media Accounts

The first thing you need to do to manage your work life is to separate your social media accounts. If you are using Facebook for work, for your own sake, create a business page or create a new separate account from your personal one.

It is easy to create a social media account. You don’t have to jumble up your work and your personal life. Most people who are in sales are afraid to promote through social media because it will annoy their friends. You don’t have to let this happen. Just separate your social media accounts will do.

2. Leave Your Office on Time

Studies have shown that people who work extra long hours will suffer a decrease in productivity. There is no point to work for long hours when you cannot stay focused and deliver a great work. It is better to save your energy and recharge yourself and come back to work the next day.

You are going to spend a huge chunk of your life working, so you don’t have to rush thing and choose to leave your office on time. If you cancel your dating with your lover because you got stuck in the office, imagine what will happen if this continues every day. It will take a toll on your relationship.

3. Reject Unnecessary Work Request

This is not to say that you should avoid responsibility or choose not to help your colleagues. This simply means that you should focus on your work and your personal life first. If you have something more important to do, say no to other unnecessary work requests.

Unless you are free and have extra time for an additional work request, choose to stick to your own work responsibility. Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

4. Prioritize Your Work

One of the most important tips to manage your work life is to prioritize your work. If you don’t prioritize your work, you will never become effective in getting the most results out of the day.

Imagine once you reached your office and all you do is the unnecessary or low-impact work. By the end of the day, you will have used up your energy, and you don’t have the willpower to work on the more important task. Never let this happen to you. Get the more important work done first.

5. Learn to Delegate and Outsource

Sometimes, you just cannot finish all the work by yourself, you need help from others. So learn to delegate and outsource your less important work to other people. If you find yourself always busy, don’t have enough time and can’t seem to get all your work done, there is something wrong with your approach. You need to change the way you do things.

Work is never-ending. There are new tasks to do, new calls to make, new clients to approach, and new techniques to venture. Instead of doing everything by yourself and suffocate with stress, leverage on other people’s energy and effort to get more done.

6. Create a Bunker to Minimize Distractions

If you want to stay ahead in your work life, you must stop distraction at all cost. Almost every second, you will be distracted by something around you. It could be your phone, your internet browser, your colleague, your children, etc. You must learn to build a bunker to protect yourself from distractions.

Try to lock your room door when you are focusing on your work. Never let people distract you and silent your phone too. Put a “Do Not Disturb” sign if possible. Let others know that you are working on something important and let them come to you after you have done.

7. Focus on Your Work

When it is time to work, work. Don’t spend your work time doing other stuff like surfing the internet, checking your vacation info, downloading movies, etc. You must focus on your work to get them done so that you can enjoy a guilt-free personal life after work.

One of the reasons most people cannot finish their work during the work day and they have to bring their work back home is because they don’t focus on their work. They get distracted, choose to do something else, spend a minute here and a minute there, and eventually, they found that they don’t have enough time to finish their work.

When you are working on something, choose to put in 100% focus and get the work done. Stop multitasking as doing many things at the same time will dilute your concentration and lower your productivity.

8. Create Rules for Your Professional Life

If you want to separate and manage your professional life with higher efficiency, you must create rules for it. For example, rules such as “I will leave office by 6PM”, or “I will work on my priority work in the morning and leave emailing to the afternoon”, will make you more productive.

Of course, you must follow and commit to the rules you have set. These rules will help you in separating your work life from your personal life. Thus, come up with rules that will clearly define your work now.

9. Use Time-blocking to Get More Done

Time blocking is one of the most powerful techniques that most people do not utilize. It is a technique used by many professional athletes and writers to get things done and become more effective in their work life.

All you need to do is to block off a certain time for your task. For example, if you are in sales and your most important task is to do prospecting and call 50 potential clients, you can block your time to do the calling from 10AM to 12PM each working day. And during these two hours, you will not do anything except focusing on your task.

Writers time block their time to write, athletes will time block their time for training, and successful businessman will use time block to get their most important work done. You should do the same.

10. Inform Upfront

If you want to separate your work life and your personal life, one effective thing you can do is to inform up front. Tell your staff or your colleagues or your boss that you are going off at 5PM and if there is anything they want you to do, tell them to get it to you by 3PM.

When you inform people your plan upfront, people can better anticipate and work according to your plan. This is especially useful when it comes to taking off days from your work. Tell your colleagues upfront that you will be off from when to when and in case there is anything, just tell them to get it to you either before or after your vacation.

11. Utilize Your Wee Hours

Do you know that successful people utilize their wee hours because those hours are the most productive? Nobody will distract you or call you in the morning. You get to use the time whatever productive way you want.

The book “What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”, gives a clear idea of why the wee hour is the best time to get your most important task done. It gives you a kick-start of the day and makes you feel fulfilled and accomplished when you did your most important task the first thing early in the morning.

12. Practice Batching Your Work

Another great strategy to become effective in your work life is to learn how to batch your work. You don’t have to check your email every time when you receive the notification. You can schedule a time to check and reply all your email at the same time.

This will make you more effective as you are doing the work in batches. When you switch task, you are actually distracting your flow and this will make you unable to focus on your task at hand.

Managing Your Personal Life

Now, you have learned how to manage your work life, it is time for you to learn how to handle your personal life too. Managing both parts of your life and making them work can be challenging. You don’t want to overlap and find that you are working when you are at home or find yourself cannot focus and keep thinking about your personal life while you are at work. Below are some tips you can use to manage your personal life.

1. Unplugged Yourself from Technology

When you are at home, be at home and unplugged yourself from technology, especially the internet connection. Whenever you are accessible to the whole world, you will get distracted by your colleagues or your work. People can email you about your work or get updates from you.

So get unplugged. Turn off your phone if necessary or put it into the silence mode. When you are having fun with your children or jogging, don’t get distracted by your phone. It will only make your activity less fun and annoys you.

2. Never Bring Your Work Back

If possible try not to bring your work back home. When you use your family time for work, you are sacrificing your precious time with your loved ones. It will be alright if it is just for a day or two, but if you do it regularly, it will affect other areas of your life as you are sacrificing your personal life to get more done in your professional life.

Please understand that if you want to get more done and be more effective, you should get proper rest and recharge yourself from time to time. You want to prevent burnout and strike a balance between your work and life.

3. Spend Time in Solitude

You want to have time to be alone from time to time. Science has shown that people who spend time in solitude are people who are more creative and effective. Lao Tzu once said, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”

Therefore, learn to master yourself through spending time in solitude. The more you understand yourself, the better you can perform in every area of your life. Take a walk in the wood, go hiking or jogging, take a swim, or simply do nothing and relax your mind.

4. Perform a Balance Check

How do you know if you are living your life at an optimum level? The answer is simple, just perform a balance check. Do you spend too much time on work-related task? Do you find yourself having no time for friends, family, loved ones and even yourself? Do you find it stressful because you keep rushing and chasing deadlines?

You know that something is out of tune when you are feeling stress and not moving forward in life. So consistently ask yourself and check if you are living the life you want. When you do this regularly, you give yourself the opportunity to realign to live the best life you desire.

5. Turn Off Notifications

If you are serious about separating your work life and your personal life, turn off your phone’s notification when you get home. You do not want other people to disturb your family time or the precious time spending with your children.

It is can be very disturbing when you want to rest and relax while your phone keeps buzzing you for attention. You can create a custom notification for chat groups or better yet, turn your phone into the silence mode.

6. Collect Work Ideas

Sometimes, you will just think about work even when you are at home. Try to rest and relax and keep the thoughts out of your head. When an idea flows into your head, write it down, record it down and collect the idea. You can always come back to the idea the next day when you get back to work.

The important key is to record your ideas so that you don’t forget them. Do you know that Richard Branson carries a small notebook with him all the time? He will write down ideas and things to do in the notebook. And billionaire Branson did not use a smartphone to record his ideas because a smartphone can be distracting most of the time.

7. Spend Time with Your Family

One of the most important things to do to enrich your personal life is to spend time with your family. Every day, schedule time to be with the people you love. They can be your wife, your spouse, your parents or your children.

In Chinese, there is a quote saying that success starts at home. If you cannot manage your home and spend time with your family, do you think you can handle your business and manage your staff correctly? There is a lot to be said in how you deal with your family issue.

Dedicate and schedule family hours. You can use the whole Sunday as your family day. Bring your family out for dinner, accompany your wife, cook together, play with your children, go jogging with your parents, and so on. It will recharge you and make your personal life shines.

8. Grow Relationship Outside Your Work Life

Your life is not all about work. You should also spend time growing your friendships as well. Remember, no man is an island. We cannot survive by ourselves and if we want to feel complete, we must nourish other areas of our life.

Get to know people who are outside of your work circle. No matter how busy you are, you can create a plan to meet with your friends for at least once a month. When you have good friends from other industry, you will find that life is full of variety and it helps a lot when you need an opinion from different people.

9. Create Milestones for Your Personal Life

Goals are not just meant for your professional life. You can set goals and milestones for your personal life as well. So what do you want to accomplish in your personal life? Do you want to learn to play guitar? Do you want to learn to swim? How about learning a new language?

Make your life full and engaging by setting milestones for each area of your life. It is a great way to learn new things, to achieve better results and improve the quality of your life. So what do you want to achieve in your personal life?

10. Have Something to Look Forward To

When you have nothing to look forward to in your personal life, you will choose to spend more time to work and put in long hours in your professional life. Thus, find something that you will want to look forward to. It can be a dating with your lover, your hobby, a Saturday night out, etc.

Some people choose to stay in office and work longer hours because they have no direction in their personal life. However, things will be different when you have something you can’t wait to do. It can be a family function, a dinner with your friends, a movie night, or to watch football with your friends.

When you have a purpose, you will be inspired to do it. So create more reasons for you to excel in your life.

Managing Your Time

Time management plays a crucial role when it comes to separating your personal and professional life. Most people find it difficult to handle both areas because they don’t have a clear understanding and did not manage their time well.

1. Plan Your Day

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. One of the most powerful tips anyone can implement to be more effective to achieve work life balance is to plan their day. When you plan for your day, you will know what to expect and what to do. You save time by not having to think or spend time on unnecessary task.

The best time to plan your day is either the night before or the first thing early in the morning. While it is true that not everything will fall into your plan, but having a plan is better than no plan at all.

Going through your life without a plan is like living without a clear direction. You have no idea what to do or where to go. As a result, you will follow whatever things that come to you. You live a reactive life rather than a proactive life. When you plan, you expect to achieve a certain result. This will transform you into living a proactive life, with a clear direction in life.

2. Stop Rushing

You don’t have to rush to get things done. You cannot force a result. You have to understand that life is a marathon and not a sprint. Just like planting a tree, all you can do is to water the tree, make sure it has enough sunlight and nourish the soil. The rest is up to the tree to grow.

The same goes in life. All you have to do is to commit and do your best. Try to force results and work 24 hours a day, you will suffer burnout and fail faster than you can imagine.

If you want to lose weight, would you spend 30 hours straight in the gym or would you spend an hour a day for the next 30 days? You know the answer. You cannot force the result to come to you. Just do your best and commit to the process, and the result will come automatically.

3. Practice Meditation

Science has proven that meditation is good for both our physical and mental health. It not only increases your creativity but also relieves your stress and makes you calm. Meditation can disconnect you from your work as it clears your mind and allows you to focus on the present.

In fact, many successful people such as John Assaraf, Arianna Huffington, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and more, practice meditation regularly. When you are fresh, focused, and creative, you can accomplish more. So block your time for meditation. You can start with just 10 or 15 minutes a day and increase from there.

4. Do What You Love

What are your hobbies? Do you love jogging, hiking, camping, or singing? Spend time for your hobbies and do what you love. It is a great way to nourish your life and get rid of stress. Doing what you love will make you feel good and enrich your soul. If you love to play games, you can do that, just do not overdo it.

Whenever you are doing things that you love and are passionate with, you are fulfilling your life and replenish your energy. This is especially true if your passion has something to do outdoor activities that get you to nature.

5. Move Your Body

One of the best ways to enrich both your personal and professional life is to commit to exercising. Move your body more often and get sweaty. People just don’t get enough exercise these days, especially those who work in the urban areas.

Do you know that exercise and get sweat is not only good for your physical health, but it can also get rid of your stress and make you feel better internally? Studies showed that people who exercise regularly are able to focus more effectively on their everyday task.

There is nothing to lose through exercise. And there is no point to accumulate wealth and be successful when you don’t have the health to enjoy the reward.

6. Cut Down TV Time

People these days watch just too much TV. They spend as much as 9 years of their lifetime watching TV. The statistic shows that an average American watches about 5 hours of TV a day. Imagine if you can cut down 2 or 3 hours of your TV time and use it to nourish your personal and professional life, you will be doing much better in life, guaranteed.

It is hard to imagine that people spend so much of their precious time into watching how people live their life from the TV box rather than choosing to work on activities that will greatly benefit their life.

Hence, cut down your TV time. It is alright if you still choose to watch TV, but restrict yourself and limit your time spent on TV. If possible, choose to watch only programs that will benefit you.

7. Read, Learn, and Improve

How many books have you read after your graduation? Most people will answer none. And even if they read, they will read books only for entertainment purposes. Leaders are readers.

If you want to get ahead in your professional and personal life, read books, learn and become better in everything you do. Commit to reading at least one or two books a month. If you can read two books in a month, you will be averaging 24 books a year.

Can you imagine how this will impact and change your life? If you can get just one idea out from every book that you read, you will greatly benefit and improve your life for the better.

8. Clear the Clutter and Get Organized

How often do you spend time clearing your clutter and organized both your workplace and your house? Study has shown that clutter can actually slow you down and make you less productive.

Clutter will take up attention space in your mind. Unfinished projects, messy desk, unorganized workplace, dirty rooms, a drawer full of papers, etc, will make your life messy, stress, and unproductive.

When you live in an organized and clean environment, your focus will sharpen and it helps to boost your creativity as well. Just like the saying, “You must clear the old to make way for the new.”

9. Don’t Waste Time

Bruce Lee has a meaningful quote, “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made of.”

Your time is your life. How you spend your time equals to how you live your life. If you spend your whole day watching TV, you will waste your whole day of life into unnecessary activity.

Therefore, watch how you spend your time. Do you spend more into your work or do you spend more into your personal life? Do you waste your time on unproductive work tasks or do you spend too much on leisure and entertainment?

Knowing how you spend your time will ultimately determine how you live your life. So be extremely conscious of how you spend your time.

Separating your professional work life and your personal life is easier said than done. And it is important to do so because you want to ensure that you get enough rest, relax and to prevent burnout so that you can enjoy both sides to the fullest.

Besides, it is necessary to maintain good physical and mental health. All work and no fun will make a miserable life. All play and no work will make you feel guilty and unable to move forward.

Thus, learn to maintain and separate your professional and personal life balance to live a happy and fulfilling life.

References

  • beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-managing/thirteen-tips-for-separating-your-personal-and-professional-life/article25876599/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&
  • themuse.com/advice/37-tips-for-a-better-worklife-balance
  • wikihow.com/Separate-Your-Professional-and-Private-Life
  • fastcompany.com/3052061/how-solitude-can-change-your-brain-in-profound-ways
  • lifereimagined.aarp.org/page/signature/41097-Why-Meditation-Is-Good-for-You
  • statisticbrain.com/television-watching-statistics/
  • mindbodygreen.com/0-11619/10-reasons-to-stop-what-youre-doing-start-clearing-your-clutter.html

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Regards, Sophia
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