When your home also doubles as your office, professional and personal boundaries can blur. To separate the two worlds, you’ll need to get inventive. Maybe try working away from your bedroom, or turning off your phone … or donning your work robe?
Creative costume changes were among the many answers that writer Nicole Cliffe received when she asked her followers what they did to separate work and home.
For people who work largely from home, do you have any kind of ritual to separate work time from home/family/you time? I noticed that after I put my last kid to bed I immediately take down my ponytail and shake my hair out like a sexy librarian in an adult film.
— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) June 6, 2018
Some people said they changed clothing to delineate where work began and ended.
I put on my glasses and my work robe, which I can’t believe I’m admitting exists.
— Elle (@ElleSacc) June 6, 2018
I have a different set of leisure clothes for work time and non work time. I am the only one that knows how to tell the difference.
— Emily 🍦 (@FormalScrunchie) June 6, 2018
Also I don't let myself wear actual pajamas while working (I at least change into yoga pants, my *professional* pajamas.)
— Medusa sans Frontières (@OpheliaInWaders) June 6, 2018
sports bra on is Business Hours, sports bra off is Party Hours
— Emma Specter (@EmmaSpecter) June 6, 2018
Dressing up for success is backed by science to work. Even if no one but you can see your professional outfit, your brain will notice a difference. Studies have shown that formal business outfits can enhance our mind’s creativity and strategizing skills. In one experiment, choosing a suit over wearing sweatpants made a noticeable difference in participants’ abilities to negotiate.
Create wind-down rituals
Some people said that they turned to television to signal the end of their workday.
Put on kimono, stream early Frasier
— Anna Breslaw (@annabreslaw) June 6, 2018
The real answer is most days I come upstairs and turn on the Mets game. Once I start stressing about baseball I don't have the energy to stress about work anymore.
— Caitlin (@inthejerseyrain) June 6, 2018
Some participants said they created private daily rituals for themselves:
i know this is a semi-luxury but i find that a bath can really punctuate the day
on a less time-consuming note, i'll eat a frozen mini-snickers when it's "me time" (am i a cathy cartoon yet)
— rachel syme (@rachsyme) June 6, 2018
I've not done this as much recently (but I want to add it back!): there's a 5:30p Daily Mass near my house. I like to finish work in time to go and come home to not-work
— Leah Libresco (@LeahLibresco) June 6, 2018
Others made the ritual a sensory experience. Participants tried lighting candles and spritzing perfume to wind down after work. Smells are tied to our memories, and the whiff of a certain scent can send us into work mode. Take it from these folks:
I used to burn a candle or diffuse oil in a scent that I only used when I was working. With a one year old that’s fallen by the wayside, but it was a great, quick way to get into the zone.
— Kyla Roma (@kylaroma) June 6, 2018
I'm always changing rituals hoping the new one will work better, but one thing I do when it's time to settle down & write is put on perfume.
— Dana Stevens (@thehighsign) June 6, 2018
Get out of the house
When your work from your house, getting physically away from your house, even if it’s just to run errands, can help your mind relax.
I close all of my work-related tabs, close my laptop, and then take the dogs out. I feel like being outside, even just for a few minutes, helps me mentally transition out of work mode.
— Brittany (@brittanybrolley) June 6, 2018
It’s so small and simple but just *turning off the computer* at the end of the work day..and I purposely shop for dinner ingredients daily rather than weekly so I will have a reason to go for a walk after work, like a mini-commute with a practical purpose.
— Samantha B (@samanthadjb) June 6, 2018