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When work and home lines blur, Lisa Hess shares three ways to separate one from the other.

These days, I'm spending a lot of time in my home office. As someone who often struggles to draw the line between work and home, I need something that says "day is done" and that leaves my workspace looking welcoming at the start of each day.

Until recently, I've never been very good at the "clear off your desk at the end of the day" routine, but ever since my last desk revamp a few months ago, I've been committed to doing just that. The first of my three end-of-day habits to emerge was clear my desk, an unmistakable sign that work time is drawing to a close.

Clearing off my desk is actually the second thing I do. The first is to set my table up for morning. I have a small round table that was in my parents' house and ended up in my office by accident, which turned out to be serendipitous. I’ve always wanted an L-shaped desk, but my office is too small to support a desk that size. The small table, currently to the right of me (I'm right-handed) holds the materials I need for today's tasks.  At the end of the day, everything on the table either goes in the trash (lists), away (if I'm finished with it) or back on the table for the next day.

My final task is to put the pillows back on my chair. When I splurged on my new desk chair, I also made it home to a white lace pillow that had been my mom's, a small fleece throw and a pillow that says "I never met a chocolate I did not like." At the start of each day, I take the pillows off so I can sit in the chair and work, and at the end of the day, returning those pillows to their places signals close of business before I even leave the room. And, since this room has no door, having a signal like that is an important step in sharpening the line between work and home.

Though I don't always stop working completely after I "shut down" my office, taking these three steps to draw a line leaves me with a sense of peace and accomplishment and, even better, it makes my office a space I want to walk into the next day.

How about you? When work and home lines blur, how do you separate one from the other?

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Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess

Image: Pexels (2018)