You’re so lucky! I wish I could work from home! Wow, your life must be so awesome!
If you run a home based business, you’ve heard all of these incredulous statements. You could probably add quite a few more to the list. And it’s true; working from home and running your own business really is fantastic and life-changing.
But working from home comes with its own challenges, and it’s not always the walk in the park most of your friends and family seem to think it is! In particular, the number one challenge reported by most home-based business owners is that work and home life often blend together seamlessly. Ironically, now that you no longer have an official workplace, you feel like you’re always “at work”!
So how can you take control over what sometimes feels like chaos, and enforce divisions between work, home, and family once again?
Set your hours. One reason you started this venture was so that you could set your own work hours… But then you never set them. Analyze your schedule now, and plan for regular hours devoted to your business. Then organize a backup schedule for when emergencies create disruptions.
Change your hat (metaphorically speaking). You can’t be everything to everyone all of the time, or you’ll burn out fast. Obviously you want to provide top notch support to clients and employees, but voicemail was invented for a reason. When you’re not “at work” it is perfectly acceptable to return messages later during your scheduled hours.
Switch off. When work hours are finished, close your laptop and turn off your phone. Some home-based business owners find it helpful to keep two devices; one for work, and one for personal use. Keep your personal device switched on, and you’re not out of touch during your non-working hours.
If those voicemails and unanswered emails will eat at you until morning, schedule an hour later in the evening for retreating to your office space and returning messages.
Get your home-based business out of the home. Working from bed while wearing pajamas sounded fun at first, but now the blurred line between work and home just feels like a bad dream. So take your business back to an “office” a few times each week- but this time, one of your choosing (with great coffee). The change of scenery will feel refreshing and motivating, you’ll be hanging out with other people like you, and you’ll find greater enjoyment of your home life once again.
Come visit us at Parlay Cafe, and we’ll show you how you can still enjoy all the benefits of working from home, while enforcing an effective boundary around your business life.
Written by Don Mastrangelo, Owner, Parlay Café