As a home business owner, you know maintaining a home-based business is can be a very stressful endeavor. Especially when your office is inside the house. As a freelance copywriter and a home-based business owner, I know how hard it is to juggle around your operating, administrative, and marketing tasks with your lifestyle and family activities.
I have developed my own way of balancing my day so I can take care of business and enjoy the company of those that matter in my life. And I would like to share it with you if you let me.
Real Business, Real Hours
Drawing from my experience as a freelancer, and the knowledge I’ve acquired from people like Craig Ballantyne (author of The Perfect Day Formula) and Stephan Schiffman (author of The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople), I’ve come to learn that a set schedule is the easiest way to maintaining your business and family relationships in good standing.
Here are 4 simple action steps that will help start organizing your workdays:
- Plan the night before: make a list of tasks and activities you want or need to do the next day. this only takes about five minutes.
- Tackle what’s important right on: Set those tasks that you really need to get done for the mornings. It’s the quietest time of day, so you could finish them all without distractions.
- Prepare for the turmoil: Set those activities that you do every day for the afternoons. That way, if an emergency presents itself, you can reschedule what you must do for the next day without problems.
- Enjoy the evenings: Turn nighttime into family time. Disconnect from work completely and take a couple of hours to be around your friends and family.
That advice should help you organize your day to be more productive and effective throughout your workdays.
Some people can have a space dedicated to the work of their home business. Others don’t share that luxury. In 2010, when I first started learning to
The first thing you can do is to make sure your desk was as far from your bed as possible. That would give the illusion that you are going to work – at least for a couple of steps. You can also try to avoid the bed during work hours treat your space for what it is now, an office.
The second thing is to avoid getting distracted while working. This one gets tougher to do every day, what with the large amount of content getting pushed our way every second. But you must be strong – you need to avoid the Facebooks, Huffington Posts, and YouTubes of the world while at work. Do a quick search for web extensions and phone applications that will help you block the easy access to those sites when you are doing your work.
And lastly is to give people notice that you are working from home and that you should not be contacted unless is the case of a TRUE emergency. This one might take a little time to take effect, as most people don’t think of work time at home as “sacred”. They see it as an extra-curricular activity that brought from the office. But that’s not the case here; this is your livelihood now. And that time you dedicate to your business should be respected as much as if you were working at an office downtown.
All Work and No Play?
Of course, there’s no point in doing all of this if there’s no reward at the end of the road. And what better reward than to be able to spend the evenings with those you love and appreciate.
Make sure your clients understand that after you clock out, it’s over for the day. And that your evenings are for your family and friends. You can bring this up on the about page of your website, or in the cover letter of your information/press kit. Whichever way you decide to let your business side know, just let them know that the evenings are for joy!
Now, if you are not sure of what to do in your evenings, allow me to offer you some ideas:
- Go to the local park and play with your kids
- Join a reading club
- Invite your friends over and make game night
- Go watch a local sports team with your friends or family
- Movie night with your spouse
- A dinner party at a local restaurant
- Have a dinner party at home
- Play video games with your kids for an hour
- Visit a neighbor with your spouse
- Invite a family member over for dinner
- Enjoy a night downtown with your spouse
Whatever you decide to do, just have fun and enjoy the relationships you have built. And let them enjoy you.
Although it might seem difficult to give home and work life equal importance, it can be done. All it takes is developing the right habits and constant practice. Starting tonight, you should be able to map out your day and take care of business in the morning, finish routinary tasks in the afternoon, and enjoy your evening with family. Best of luck.