For those of you who don't unplug at home - taking those office calls during lunchtime, paper sprawled all over the living room table, and constantly speak nothing but work to your significant other - we've got five house rules to help keep all that work from swarming your domestic space completely (and perhaps help out in a few other departments as well).
1. Home is a democracy. You may be used to having things go your way at the office, but as soon as you step in the door, you're immediately placed into a democracy. While this may mean you have to run many ideas and errands through your spouse before ever committing to them, it's also kind of nice to know that there's someone sharing an equal load in the space.
2. Take little vacations. There's nothing more chaotic than having two people in a small space, desperately needing a vacation. So take them. Go outside and grab a coffee. Or take your real or imaginary dog for a walk around the block.
3. No Crackberries in bed! Having your work sprawled all over your home is bad enough, but taking the business phone everywhere you go in the house is ever worse. Carving little areas in your home where it should stay technology-free is a good way to calm your mind from the constant stream of work-related issues. Ultimately, you need to call it. What's more important to you - that pending e-mail or your loved ones?
4. Your company is your best resource. No, we don't mean your company company. We mean the people who surround you from day-to-day at home. It's okay to treat them like a colleague or a client at some time. The type of input you receive is cost-efficient, powerful, and above all, makes them feel like you're keeping them in the loop.
5. Take time inventory. This one's the kicker. All of us value time, but we rarely take the time to reflect. Maintaining a relationship takes as much work as running the business itself. Both face the tough times and good ones. So take a few minutes to reflect on everything you've accomplished together - life's a wonderful thing when shared.
Adapted from Inc. Magazine's Balancing Acts by Meg Cadoux Hirshberg