While working at home can be freeing it can also be distracting and tiring. It can also be frustrating to friends and family who think you’ve disappeared because you’re working 10-12 hours a day. There are some things you can do (and some that you can avoid) to keep the good parts of working from home and reduce the bad parts.
- Schedule one time for personal phone calls. There were many days when I couldn’t get anything done all day because it would seem like every friend and relative would pick that day to call me. If someone calls outside your “phone time” politely explain that you are working and will have to call them back.
- Don’t over obligate yourself. When people hear ‘work-at-home’ what they really hear is ‘home all day’. So expect to get tons of calls asking you to volunteer, babysit, go out shopping, supervise field trips, etc.,etc. Teach yourself to say no- just like you would if you worked outside the home. Your office hours are your prosperity.
- Don’t be too rigidly set in your schedule. Things will come up, especially if you are also a parent. Repairmen will need to come fix things, appointments may interfere, kids will surely cause distractions. It happens. Don’t be too hard on yourself and consider it a sick day.
- Not keeping good business and financial files. Records are essential to knowing how your business is doing and make tax time much less stressful.
- Spend the day in your pajamas. While this might be an attractive proposition to some, I guarantee you will be more productive if you get up and get dressed as if you were working outside the home.
- Not setting up “work hours” or at least a stop time to avoid overwhelming yourself. When a company is all yours the pull to work on it as much as possible can be irresistible. Unfortunately you end up neglecting everyone and everything else. And eventually you will end up burning out.
- Investing money you don’t have. Again it can be tempting to sink as much money as possible into your “baby”. Always work to find frugal ways to accomplish your goals without risking the quality of your work or company.