Keeping Work at Work | The Speckled Goat: Keeping Work at Work


Keeping Work at Work

Summer is our busy time at work, and when things are so busy, it's easy to feel like spending time in the office is really going to help me get ahead. Maybe your busy season is tax season (I don't envy you accountants!), or September and back-to-school.

No matter when it is, I'm pretty sure you have a season that's especially busy for you. It's easy to push aside my family, my household tasks, and my own personal care to get more done during that super busy time in my life.

Our very busiest time at work is also the time when we need to set boundaries in place. It's so easy to allow work to push into our personal time, especially when we love our jobs. But too much work and not enough time to rest burns us out, makes us less pleasant, and actually makes us less productive.

In the Bible, we're commanded to take a time of rest. We can even see the importance of a time away from work in the way God designed the day- with light in the day to allow us to work and dark in the evening to allow us to rest.

Of course, it's easier to talk about taking rest than it is to actually do it- especially when work is really busy. Here are some tips that have really helped me.

Work at Work

Okay, sounds pretty obvious. But I've found that when I mix some of my personal life into my work day, I'm less productive, and I'm also tempted to work longer hours or take some work home with me. It's just not a healthy thing.

I really strive to set boundaries between work and home. Making sure I do my best work while I'm at work allows me to take my personal time free and clear. 

Clear the Slate

At the end of the workday, the most important thing I do is make a list for the next day. It helps me to write everything down, clear my mind, and gives me something to go on right away the next morning.

I also try to take a few minutes to clear off my desk at the end of the day. Filing paperwork, tossing or shredding stuff, and and putting things away really makes a difference the next morning and helps my peace of mind.

If you don't work an office job, maybe clearing the slate looks different for you. When I was substitute teaching, I'd come home and take a shower after work. It just helped me to clear my mind. It became almost a symbol- washing off the work day and starting my time at home.

Beware the Screens

Technology has made it so much easier for us to work while we're at home. I don't have access to my e-mail from my home computer (thank goodness), but I do help to run camp's Facebook page, and I can get into my registration system from home, too.

But I make it a point to avoid all work stuff while I'm off- I don't check the camp page, I don't put in registrations, I don't try to work while I'm supposed to be at home. Even if it means that you need to put your phone in another room, even if you have to avoid the computer all together, taking a time of rest is so important that it's worth it.

How do you keep boundaries between work and home? 


  1. I am starting a freelance business from home right now, which is also hard! It's hard to leave work at at work when my work is my home, and there's always something that needs to be done. But I hear you! No matter what kind of work we do, it's important to set aside time for the things that are most important.

    1. Oh, for sure! Living so close to work has been a challenge for me- it's so tempting to just pop into the office from time to time- I can't imagine the temptation to just keep working when work is right at your home!

  2. I was always an advocate of leaving work at work. However my parents were both teachers and had no choice but to bring their work home.

    1. Oh, I've been there. I taught for a while, and those papers really pile up! I tried to go in early and then stay at work until 5 pm when I was teaching- and that helped me to get through almost everything before going home.

  3. Some jobs make it easier than others to simply leave work at work. My husband was an ICU nurse for 5 days and he left work at work 100%. He didn't even wear his scrubs inside the house (being an ICU nurse probably makes you a little over-cautious about germs). I think we both appreciated that lifestyle, but even with only working when physically at work, it was a really draining job. We're both teachers right now, and we do a lot of our work at home, but so far we've been able to find a good balance.

    1. That balance really is so important. I hold on to a lot of things about work and bring them home with me- I take work very personally, I guess. It's not always been a terribly healthy thing. Finding ways to mentally and physically recharge at home is so important to my well-being!