Barbara Corcoran may be a "shark" when she's on the job, but the "Shark Tank" star has said in the past that she sets very clear boundaries between her work and home life, in order to maintain as much of a work-life balance as she can.
But while most of us—including Barbara—are working from home long-term during the pandemic, it can feel almost impossible to set those boundaries between work and personal time.
"Now, we're living at work and we're working at home, it's all blurred. And it's a huge challenge for everybody. No one's having an easy time with it," Barbara stresses.
That being said, the self-made millionaire is sharing strategies she's personally found helpful, and giving advice to one viewer who is struggling to find that balance.
Q: How do I find a balance between running my business and having a personal life during these particularly challenging times?
— Joyce, viewer
1. Decide what hours you want to work—and stick to them!
"What I've done which has been very helpful is I stopped and decided really what hours I want to work, because I found myself constantly working many more hours," Barbara says. "So I decided that my work hours from this point forward—and this happened about 6 weeks ago—was going to be 9 in the morning until 6 o'clock at night. And if anything comes in after that it would have to wait until the next day, as it would if it was on your desk."
2. Separate your work space
"I needed to have that separation of space, and for my employees, I required the same. I asked everyone who's working at home, 'Send me a photo right now of where you're going to work—what's your separated work space?' Because everyone was going to need to be productive," the "Business Unusual" podcast host says.
3. Put your phone away and don't look at it after work hours
"The last and the hardest thing to do… is to put your phone away when that 6 o'clock bell rings. Put it away and don't look at it, because that phone can control you no matter how mature you are," Barbara says.
And if you need a little extra help enforcing these boundaries for yourself, Barbara has two more tips:
4. Set an alarm to mark the end of your work day
If you're anything like our viewer Joyce, who Barbara suspects "can work a 14-hour day and not even think about it," it's especially important to really end your work day at a set time. Barbara's suggestion? Set an alarm!
5. Schedule personal time for after work hours
"Make an appointment with something else—whether it be dinner, a conversation on the phone, a Zoom call or whatever you like to do with someone else—so you stay true to yourself," Barbara says. "If you have another appointment to do something fun, it's almost forced behavior. And a lot of us need that. We work on restrictions, and if you have a lot of energy it's very hard to self-restrict."