When I started my homebusiness over a year 1/2 ago, I never dreamed there would be so many factors to consider. Raising a family and conducting business from your home can sometimes feel like you’re working two full time jobs. Sometimes I literally feel like a juggler in the circus. It’s especially challenging if you don’t master the art of scheduling. If you don’t equip yourself with a good planner and effective time management, the house goes to hell, your child or children feel neglected and your business feels more like a hobby than an actual business. Working from home might appear to be an idyllic alternative to working outside the home, but the reality can often be quite different especially if there is no organized schedule in place. The clashes between work and family become more immediate, and there are everyday interruptions which make it hard to maintain a polished and professional work environment. Let’s face it, Corporate America does not include family related responsibilites in the job requirements.
Here are some quick tips to help you better manage your Family Time and Work Time.
Create a Daily Schedule (laundry, time with family, meals, work) . Stick to your schedule as best as you can; Decide what time you’re going to devote to training, what time you’re going to devote to working your business, and what time you’re going to spend with family and friends.
Set Boundaries: Give yourself permission to work without the guilt; Family Time is Family Time, Work is Work but understand that part of running a home business is the flexibility and that flexibility can sometimes be called to order.
Delegate a separate space for work: Maintaining professionalism when you’re working at home is critical. You don’t want the kids answering your business calls but by the same token, maybe set up a small desk for the little ones so they can still be involved as long as they understand and respect your work rules. Create a pleasant cheerful workspace by decorating it just like you would do if you had an outside office.
Let personal phone calls and emails go unanswered while you work. Take time before or after work to answer these. Make sure family members have a way to get in touch with you in case of an emergency though. Be certain friends and neighbors know that while you are home, you really are working and you can’t just stop to chat whenever they wish.
Set a time each day when you shut down business completely ( I confess that this one is my greatest challenge). Whatever comes up after office hours, deal with tomorrow.
Plan ahead. This is especially important to help you deal with the unexpected interruptions that occur. If the telephone company is coming tomorrow, you may have to adjust your schedule accordingly and if a family member suddenly becomes ill, you might lose a day of work time. Being a step ahead of where you need to be will only help.
Watch your eating habits and get up and stretch once in awhile. Definetly take breaks here and there and don’t forget to eat. That will give you just enough of a rest to recharge and get back to work feeling refreshed.
Most importantly remember WHY you wanted to work from home in the first place. Write “your why” on paper and keep it in front of you each day as you move forward in your business. That will only reinforce your goals, dreams and aspirations for you and your family’s future. Heck, and don’t forget the wonderful commute to work is only just a few feet away and one that you can make in your bathrobe and slippers.
Even more importantly than your why, make time with your kids part of your everyday routine.Whether it’s having breakfast with the kids, reading a book, or an hour spent helping your child with their homework. Children appreciate a routine, and scheduling regular time with your kids will help you avoid getting too consumed with the demands of your home-based business. You know the cliché about tomorrow and how disappointing it can be for a child when tomorrow never comes. Scheduling daily time with the kids will help you remember that your kids are just as important as your homebased business activities.
So remember, starting a homebusiness can be very exciting however you must realize that there are many factors that come into play. Not only do you have to consider the daily demands of your business but also the everyday demands of your family as well. This delicate balancing act of family and work will take some getting used to for sure but your ultimate goal is to of course make time for your family while you concurrently run a successful business from your home.
Here’s to your success!
Jessica J. Bogosian