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How important is it to separate where you work and where you live? For those of us that work for ourselves, it can be challenging to get work done when we work from home. On the flip side, it can also be hard NOT to work when we should be relaxing. When we work where we sleep and do business where we play, our associations get muddled. We talk about creating some distinctions.

Show Notes
  • 01:08 Follow up thoughts on being your own client (Related: e025 Being Your Own Client).
  • 07:26 An announcement about some exciting community features related to the podcast that are being developed.
  • 14:39 “How important is it to separate where you work and where you live?”
  • 17:23 The two signs you have a workspace problem:
    1. When working, you get distracted by your environment because it is also where you do things that are not work-related.
    2. When you’re trying to enjoy non-work time, you find yourself inclined to work instead of enjoy the time off you deserve.
  • 18:52 Bad Associations
  • 18:57 A bad idea would be to work in bed. Similar to eating in bed, or watching TV in bed, once you make the association, being in that place will conjure the association. If you only get in bed to sleep, then it’s much easier to fall asleep when you get in bed.
  • 19:18 You have to carve out a dedicated space
  • 19:21 Having a specific place where you work makes it easier to go to that place and get work done.
  • 20:32 Where you lack discipline, you need to add structure.
  • 21:14 What are some ways to separate your workspace and living space?
    • Distance your workplace by making it be at a separate location.
    • Designate a device to certain tasks. For instance, use your desktop computer exclusively for work, and your laptop for leisure.
    • Dress like you’re going to work, even if you work from home.
  • 25:05 Breaks vs Interruptions
  • 25:33 Productivity is a result of focus. If you’re not able to focus, you’re not going to be able to get real work done.
  • 25:43 If you could be interrupted at any moment, a certain amount of brain power is spent concentrating on this risk and preparing for any intrusion.
  • 28:17 You create a safe space for your mind in the early morning.
  • 28:41 You have this interruption-free, highly-productive environment where you can get some serious work done. Often, you may get days worth of work, or even an average week’s worth of work done in a highly concentrated session of focused time.
  • 29:12 Distinguishing between background noise and interruption: Background noise can actually be beneficial. Ambient noise provides something for your mind to concentrate against.
  • 29:51 Something as simple as ambient background noise causes you to engage your concentration enough to tune it out. Now you’ve gotten past the hurdle of being able to concentrate at all, you’re at least concentrating to a small degree, and you can focus that concentration on something productive.
  • 34:09 Co-working Spaces
  • 34:34 They help solve a number of the issues we’ve discussed:
    • It’s a physical place you go to, which means leaving your house, and helping you create a mental distinction between your working space and your living space.
    • It can provide ambient noise to concentrate against.
    • Some people need to be around other people more than others. If it’s lonely working from home, co-working can give you some human interaction and possibly make way for potential collaborations.
  • 42:35 Conclusion:
    • Carve out a dedicated space.
    • Be careful about the associations you’re making.
    • If you don’t have a separate office or place you go to work, find ways to make distinctions between work and non-work time.