It all sounds good until you can’t see the lines in the sand anymore.
If you’re like me, and lots of others, you have the ability to work from home or for that matter any place you can get a signal or Wi-Fi network and when you first embrace that it feels good. The short commute, more time with the family, no boss looking over your shoulder trying to figure out what you’re up too – but then it happens, you never stop working and everything else starts to suffer.
How do I know that? I’m living proof, the mobile worker who never stops working. The chirp of the phone when the email, text, or voice mail comes in. The need to answer everything within minutes, even on the weekends become almost an addiction and before you know it you’re a 24×7 workaholic who takes “vacations” complete with the family, email, phone and conference calls.
I decided this week enough was enough and it was time to separate the two from each other (at least as much as possible).
Looking back I realize that I had already started this transition when I installed Ubuntu via Wubi on my laptop and started the practice of only working in that environment. I’ve installed Chrome (dev version) and as most of the work I do is cloud based anyway the transition was relatively easy. I still have to pop over to Windows for a few items still but I should be able to eliminate even those items over the next few weeks. So work will be in Windows and Linux for home.
Continuing on the theme of creating separate environments and given that I just received an upgrade at work, my iPhone is now personal only and my new Droid is for work only. I now have to carry two phones but I can now have each adapted to how they should be focused. Of course an additional benefit is that I now get to play with applications from the Android marketplace as well.
At this point the next decision for me to make is task management. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’ll know that I’m a fan of reQall which is a web based solution. With it’s recent updates you can easily create lists for specific locations and tag for context which means I could use it to cover both personal and work items, which I have done in the past. Now being web based I could use it for either side of the house but since my workplace is Microsoft centric I’ve decided to move my task management for work over to Outlook which is also the application I use for work email and both, with the help of the Android application Touchdown by Nitrodesk, sync up nicely with my Droid. This leaves reQall for personal use.
So now the basic tools are in place and I can start to separate work from home. The biggest challenge now is changing the work habits I’ve developed over the years that caused such a blurring of the line.
Do you have a work/home balance issue? Did you have one and managed to overcome it? Take a minute and share in the comments.