Working as a freelancer has many advantages, but it can often lead to a confusion of two sides of the personality – personal and professional. In such situations, there is a risk of confusing data or sending an email to a different address, or posting a reckless post on your Facebook page, which could cost you work. In order to avoid such troubles, it is worth thinking about how to distinguish between personal life and professional activity, how to do this, it will be discussed below.
Share your digital identities
Start with email. Get your own domain name and email address and don’t use it to register for non-work related services. For professional purposes, please use a different mailing address. You can still view your inboxes in both mailboxes using a desktop email client or services that support multiple accounts. Most importantly, set different avatars for your work and personal email accounts. This way you reduce the risk of confusion when using email addresses and prevent the email from being sent to the wrong recipient. In addition, you can create separate accounts on social networks – one for work, the other for personal purposes, because professional collaboration on social networks has its own rules that may not apply in the personal sphere.
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Use separate devices for professional and personal purposes
Using separate devices for work and play can help you avoid confusion. You don’t have to buy a new gadget for this. For example, a computer or laptop can be used for work tasks, and a smartphone can be used for personal use. Switching between devices can be a tedious process, but that’s the whole point – if you work, you work, and if you play, you play. In addition, device delineation will be useful for workaholics or those who have a habit of constantly putting off work.
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Create separate user accounts on the computer
When using the same device for work and personal tasks, it will be helpful to create separate user accounts or profiles for them. For example, a personal account can be used for daily administration, publishing on social networks and various services, watching movies or TV shows, surfing the Internet, testing applications, etc. However, when you log into your work account, you will switch to a working mood. By the way, when working from home, it is useful to change into a work suit, it also helps to increase productivity.
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Use separate browsers or profiles
Don’t want to switch between user accounts? Why not try the same approach but with browsers? Use combinations of Chrome and Firefox or Safari and Opera to separate your digital identities. This tactic will help reduce the load on the “production” browser by limiting all resource-intensive activity to the “personal” browser. In it, you can try out various interesting extensions without the risk of slowing down the “working” browser. Plus, you don’t have to worry about confusing bookmarks or leaving your browsing history on your work account.
In Chrome or Firefox, it is possible to set separate profiles for work and play, eliminating the need for separate browsers. Opera offers similar functionality, but you will have to work hard to install profiles. Sadly, Safari lacks support for multiple profiles and can’t even be added via an extension due to the System Integrity Protection (SIP) security feature aimed at ensuring system integrity. But don’t worry, you can quickly switch between user accounts on the Mac menu bar (click on your login in the menu bar).
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Separate tools and applications
After all of the above, did you decide to stick with one user account? Even so, it is possible to distinguish between professional and personal life through various programs, application packages and ecosystems. For example, you can use OneNote for work purposes, Evernote for personal purposes, or iCloud and Microsoft apps for storing personal data, and Google apps for work information. At first, organizing such a system may seem like a daunting task, but after all the tweaks, you will see that the workflow has become more streamlined. In addition, cloud import / export and backup functions in applications make data movement much easier.
Using both digital and analog instruments is a good solution. For example, services like Trello, Google Calendar, and Evernote are good for work, while for personal use you can use a kanban board (interactive whiteboard), paper planner, or digital day planner. As you can see, there is absolutely no need to go to extremes and replace emails with handwritten emails.
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Dress as for work
In a traditional work setting, your work life is separated from your personal life both physically and digitally. Freelancers can also set up an office-like home at home, but you need a digital barrier, and how to set it up is up to you.