You’re at your desk and ready for work.  Your computer is on, your phone is off, you have the latest antivirus software, and you have taken great pains to set up an “EC” (ergonomically correct) workstation.  You’re in your pajamas and bunny slippers.  Nirvana!

Or is it?

Finding a balance between our work and home lives is a challenge that many of us face.  In this technological age when messaging is instant and coworkers span multiple time zones, it’s a challenge to leave your work at work once you head home.  Now…what about when work and home are under the same roof?

While there many obvious benefits to working from home, it may not be for everyone.  Working from home requires self-discipline.  It doesn’t matter if you are an employee of a large company, an independent contractor, or a student taking courses at home.  Setting routines and boundaries is critical.  Without them, you could find yourself working far more than 8 hours a day, or even going in the other direction.

If you don’t already have a schedule that your employer (or school) expects of you, create one and stick with it.  Let others know your schedule and set the expectation that you will be unavailable during that time; set that expectation for yourself, as well.

When at work, be at work.  Take breaks as you need them so that you stay refreshed and productive, but avoid getting sidetracked by non-work-related things when you should be completing a report or an assignment.  Household tasks can wait until you are “home” to do them.

On the flip side, just because you can turn on your computer and work after hours doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.  When it’s time to play, play.  Spend time with your family, go out with friends, or spend time doing something that is important to you.

Setting these boundaries and prioritizing your time will ensure that your remote career or education is a happy, productive, and fulfilling experience.

What has been the most difficult adjustment you’ve had to make in your at-home school or work experience?