Discover the 6 Easy Steps to a productive work from home lifestyle
By: Hershey Morgan
February 3, 2022
If you work from home, chances are you already know that you’re pulling “double duty.” You probably work on your business while doing the laundry, corralling the kids, or fixing dinner… and let’s not forget all the phone calls from family and friends expecting you to run errands or “go out” for an afternoon of fun.
One of the most complex parts of running a home business is separating your work from your family and social life.
Here are six proven ways to keep your home life running smoothly while keeping your business on track.
- Create a work schedule and stick with it. It may be tempting to answer personal calls during the day or take business calls after-hours, but doing this shows that you’re expendable – not dependable – and people will take for granted that you’ll “always be there” for any little things that come up. Even though family comes first, stay true to your business hours and resist the urge to chat with friends or pick up groceries during working hours.
- Our friends may consider “working from home” an invitation to chat during the day or go out for coffee or shopping for an afternoon. Make it clear that your business hours are just that – for business. Leave personal calls for after-hours, and you’ll find that your friends will gradually accept your schedule without feeling slighted.
- Just because you have to set up a work schedule doesn’t mean that you have to keep the same hours as everyone else. One of the benefits of working for yourself is setting your hours to fit your most productive times. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you’ll find that you’ll get much more done when you’re attuned to your body’s natural rhythms. Some people work in the morning, take a break in the afternoon when the kids are home from school, and work again in the evening. Schedule your work time when you feel the most productive, and you’ll find that things get done easier, faster, and better than when you were dragging along during those same rigid work hours that everyone else has.
- If getting after-hours business calls or work day personal calls is a problem, it helps to have a separate business phone line or an answering machine or voicemail to take the incoming calls. This also gives your business a more professional appearance to clients than if you and your family make and receive calls from the same phone line.
- If possible, try to separate your “home office” from the rest of your home. If you don’t have the luxury of a separate room, a room partition or screen can be just as helpful. This also serves as a visual cue to the family that you’re working and shouldn’t be bothered.
- Dress and act professionally while working. Some people find it helpful to dress in casual business attire during their working hours. This reinforces that working from home doesn’t make you less of a professional just because you’re working from home. Answer the phone with your name or business name, and keep your children off the phone during business hours. Also, spend money investing in the tools you need to do your job right. A cell phone, fax machine, or even a budget computer can help turn your home office into a proper workspace.