Separation of Work and Home

When you’ve got a lot going on at work, it can be difficult to stop in the middle of a task at the end of the day. I definitely have a bit of a workaholic tendency, so I never want to stop unless something is finished. If your spouse isn’t this way, this can lead to frustration at home.

The secret to preventing any frustration is to compartmentalize your life. Work stays at work, and home stays at home. That way, you don’t run the risk of feeling like you’re giving up any family time.


Here’s a few tips on how to keep home separated from work.

At work:

Adopt a clean desk policy. Before the day is over, go through the odd tasks sitting on your desk and arrange them in a way that you have a set plan for the next work day. It will help to relieve some of the stress of leaving things unfinished. It also gives you a chance to look through everything and remind yourself about what it is you have to address. When you’ve already got a plan, you don’t have to think about it at home.

Treat work time as quiet hours. I would say this is normal work etiquette, but just to make sure it’s said, don’t spend your work time on your phone. Unless there’s some emergency to deal with, keep your phone on vibrate. My phone has a quiet hours setting, which is great, especially when I get a phone call from a telemarketer. With your phone set to quiet, you won’t be interrupted and will get more done.

Talk with your boss. If you find that you’re getting a lot of after hours calls or have to work overtime and it’s putting a strain on your marriage, try talking to your boss about it. They may be open to any boundaries you need to set, especially if it’s affecting your home life. This won’t be the case for every boss, but most will understand and be willing to work with you.

At home:

Don’t talk about work. Your spouse can quickly get tired of stories about your work frustrations, especially if you have no way to fix them. And it can be equally as frustrating to you if they don’t respond to your venting in the way you need them to. Just avoid it.

Prep for work once. If there’s something that you need to do at home to prepare for work, make sure to get it done at one time so that you’re not spending too much home time thinking about work.

So, what do you think? Are there any other tips for keeping work and home separate?