How to Make Working at Home Work for You and Your Family

When you work at home, no matter how hard you try to keep them separate your personal and business lives are bound to overlap and, at times, collide.

For many people the very idea of having their own home-based business evokes such idealistic images as working in pajamas, spending more time with family, scheduling their own time, and never again having to deal with the morning commute. The very thought can send shivers down the spine. What could be better?

Reality check: Working from home is hard work.

Yes, working and living under the same roof can be all of these things and a whole lot more, but it takes dedication and flexibility, especially when it comes to establishing a balance between your professional and personal home life where you can meet with some unexpected challenges… for instance overcoming the unending desire to work every waking moment of everyday… including weekends!

So what can you do?

Start by becoming clear about your ultimate goal.

If creating more personal freedom is your ultimate goal, it’s important that you decide what “freedom” actually means to you. Is it having enough money to pay off your bills, more time with your family, more leisure time for you, or all of the above? Whatever it is, how to get to that point needs to be as much a part of the plan for your business as the business itself; otherwise you may well grow a wildly successful home-based business only to end up working more and no closer to your personal freedom goal than when you worked for someone else.

Set realistic expectations.

Accept that while the rewards of growing a successful home-based business are ultimately worth the effort, it takes time. First there will be the hard work of getting your new business off the ground and gaining momentum.

Look after your health.

Your health should always be your number one priority and yet it’s the easiest thing to take for granted when you’re up to your eyeballs in work. Stress is one of the biggest causes of poor health. To combat this, get enough sleep, eat regularly and choose healthy options, take time out for relaxation, and exercise at least three times a week.

Separate work from family as much as possible, or else you won’t be able to give either the attention they need.

It is true that some parents start a home-based business with the idea that they’ll be able to save a lot of money on daycare and easily focus on both of their top priorities – raising their children as well as building a business. But the truth is it takes focus to build a business, and working with kids in the room is pretty much impossible.

However, here’s where I’m going to deviate somewhat from conventional wisdom. I’ve worked with hundreds of home-based entrepreneurs and time and again found that those that involve their family in some way with their business are the happiest, least stressed and often the most successful.

At the very least, take the time to help your family understand and feel connected to your ultimate goal, and share some of your challenges and achievements along the way so they feel a part of your whole life, not just the moments allocated to them.

Create a dedicated work space, preferably with a door that shuts.

Perhaps the idea of working at home fills your head with visions of relaxing on the sofa with a cup of tea while you check your e-mail, or writing out business proposals in a sunny spot of the living room. While it doesn’t hurt to get a change of scenery, you’re likely to be more productive if you create your own dedicated office space within your home.

Understand that working at home can be isolating.

Working at home might sound especially appealing to long-time cubicle dwellers, but the reality of running a home-based business is that it’s all too easy to get isolated and start to go a little bit stir-crazy.

It helps to make regular commitments to get out of the house. Meet your friends for lunch. Network (in-person, not just on Twitter or LinkedIn) with colleagues and prospective customers.

Recognize that this lifestyle takes negotiating, planning and prioritizing.

Try to maintain a sense of humor and avoid immediately stressing out when personal interruptions do occur. Develop the ability to break from work and become efficient by focusing on the urgency of the interruption and resolving it so you don’t have to worry about it. Then get back to your regular work schedule. Soon, you will learn to mentally maneuver and have a healthy balance between the two worlds without tension or guilt.



Source by Marquita A Herald

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