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A Day of Rest for Those Who Work at Home

Updated on December 21, 2011

The Tyranny of Working at Home

There is much said about the advantages of working for yourself at home and online. And it's all true. Being able to choose your working hours, to work in casual clothes (pajamas even), and to avoid the morning commute are all pluses. But there are downsides as well to blogging, freelance writing, and internet marketing.

When you work at home, you don't have the luxury of leaving work at work. Your computer is always there twenty-four hours each day, tempting you to get just a little more done. You may have a smartphone that constantly informs you of new emails and new Tweets. The draw to check email one more time is almost irresistible.

The line between home life and work life is blurred because you are tending to children while you're brainstorming a new article or putting on a load of laundry as you check your traffic numbers. You become a master multi-tasker and no longer have a clear division between earning money and enjoying your family. You convince yourself that you can do both at the same time.

The answer to this lifestyle is a day of rest.

Taking a Rest From Online Work

Source

What is a Day of Rest?

In the ancient Jewish tradition, the day of rest was called the Sabbath. Observing this day is actually one of the Ten Commandments found in the Old Testament book of Exodus. Because God rested from his work of creation, man was instructed to rest from his work for an entire day each week.

Whether you appreciate the Bible or not, the value of rest is firmly proven. I'm not talking about sleep here although that is a component of rest. I love to nap on my day of rest, but the main point is not to work.

Focus on other worthwhile pursuits:

  1. family
  2. hobbies
  3. exercise
  4. recreation
  5. volunteering
  6. relationships
  7. connect with nature

Do anything, but don't work.

It is counter-intuitive, but taking a break from work actually increases your productivity. You return to your money making ventures with a fresh dose of energy, creativity, and vision.

Test Yourself

If you work at home, test yourself against these workaholic tendencies.

1. You check email and site stats before getting out of bed or soon thereafter.

2. You get antsy when one of your important sites (an affiliate program or publishing platform, for example) is down.

3. You sit down to just check email and two hours pass before you realize you are still at the computer.

4. You "watch" the family movie with your computer in your lap as you work on your latest article or project.

5. You decline real life social engagements because of Twitter parties or webinars you think will promote your online work.

If you can relate to three of these five, you urgently need to schedule a day of rest into your work at home routine.

Your Family Will Thank You

Did you choose this work at home lifestyle so that you could spend more time with the ones you love? Consider how you are fulfilling that desire. Are you so consumed with your work that you are a work at home workaholic?

Let the irony of that sink in.

Do you actually spend quality time with your family just work alongside them? Is physical presence enough or do you hope to actually interact with them in meaningful ways? Scheduling a day of rest means that your family can count on you to be there -- mentally and physically -- for at least that one day.

Reconnect With Hobbies and Passions

Maybe family wasn't your motivator to work at home. Maybe it was a hobby or some personal passion. Are you making time for what you care about or do you spend all your time working online?

Did you choose this path for freedom? Are you free? Or are you chained to your computer in an obsessive race to earn more and more?

How to Plan a Day of Rest

Your day of rest is very individual. No one can tell you when it should be because it really depends on your personal commitments and schedule.

What Day?

Weekends may be ideal for a day of rest if family members are also not working. But that is not always true.

Same Day?

You may even find that your day of rest needs to shift from week to week, sometimes on a Saturday, sometimes on a Sunday or Tuesday. The point is to be sure to have a day of rest, not to be obsessive with which day it falls on.

Part Day?

If an entire day away from work seems impossible, try just a half day and see where it leads. You may benefit from a few half days of rest each week instead of a full day. Experiment and see what fits your work at home lifestyle.


How to Protect Your Day of Rest

No matter when you select, the point is not to work on that day.

So how do you define work? This gets tricky because our dependence on technology spills into our personal lives with texting, emails, and Facebook. You will have to find where to draw the lines.

  • No checking work related emails.
  • No Twitter.
  • No checking blog stats and traffic numbers.

Those are things I don't do on my day of rest. Your list may look entirely different.

Realize where your temptations lie. I have a hard time checking email because I find projects that I "need to" work on. It is hard for me to read the email without tackling the project. So when I am taking my day of rest, I generally take a total break from the computer, not even turning it on. I have also chosen to turn off my smartphone notifications so that I'm not constantly bombarded with the possibility of some earth shattering email that I feel forced to check.

Have Family or Friends Keep You Accountable

Tell your loved ones about your resolve for a day of rest. They will probably be thrilled for you and will help you stick to your Sabbath.

If you live alone, tell your online friends and ask them to fuss at you if you turn up online during that time.

Fine a Restful Place
Fine a Restful Place | Source

Do You Have a Day of Rest?

As one who works at home, do you give yourself times of rest?

See results

Advantages to a Weekly Day of Rest

  • increased productivity
  • closer relationships (when you spend your rest time with them)
  • better health
  • less depression
  • time to meditate, evaluate, and plan
  • laughter
  • greater creativity
  • enhanced problem solving (sudden realizations when you stop thinking about the problem)
  • decreased stress

Do You Take a Day of Rest?

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    • nicregi profile image

      Reginald Chan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Hey! Good writing. Oh yes. We need day off and without, we are just going to overwork! Good job and keep it up. Now, got to find time for myself :)

    • aemillervb profile image

      aemillervb 5 years ago from Virginia

      Great Hub! SO very true.. we also need a day of rest, but a lot of us don't do it. Usually its an hour or two of "rest" and within that hour we are cleaning, laundry or eating lunch. :) Time for a break now!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Very wonderful reminders. I can completely relate to these because beyond being a full time (outside of the home) working mom, I am also trying to pursue my writing endeavors. This leaves very little time for sleep!

      However, I do make sure that we do at least one "fun" thing during the weekend as a family. It's not always an entire day but it's something for us to look forward to. Thanks for the tips!

    • yui lockhart profile image

      yui lockhart 5 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for writing this hub,as a scholar and a working student at the same time, I really find it hard to have a rest day, specially when my work is online based. Thanks! you write a great hub!

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 5 years ago from New Jersey

      This is another wonderful hub. It is written and organized so well. This article really speaks to people like me who want to do it all. Since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I definitely need to rest more throughout the day, but that's hard with a little one that just turned 3 and another little one about to be 2. Throw in working on my dissertation, working from home (and on-campus a bit), having the children stay home, and on and on, rest is a luxury.

      Thanks for providing such great advice and words of wisdom.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      A rest day is a great idea. Although I don't solely work from home, I do find that I am almost always connected. One day of week completely disconnected sounds like a great idea!

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 5 years ago from Atlanta

      Hi Jimmie, You wrote on a great subject. We who do work at home often do not take a day of rest. Sometimes our scheduling can be a little inconsisent. I have worked at home for about 3 years now. Those who are really serious put in more than 8 hours of writing. For more I have wrote, and worked during spare time, and in between appointment, and other matters.

    • Greekgeek profile image

      Ellen 5 years ago from California

      Excellent hub. This year, in creating my "Five goals for 2012," in addition to the usual work-related goals (write 150 articles, revamp 50, earn X amount by the end of the year), I specifically added that I'd take time for gardening and improving my house. I didn't do enough of it last year because I always had another article to write!

      Balance is so important.

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