Working from home is a dream come true for many people. You get to set your own hours, don’t have to commute and in many cases don’t have to report to anyone besides yourself either. However, working from home has its own unique challenges as well. Most specifically, many people wonder how they will be able to balance their work and personal lives. But you can do it, and here’s how.
Be On The Same Page With Your Family
Now that you’ve made the decision to begin working from home, the first thing you will want to do is have a candid conversation with your family about what that means and what expectations will be. Sit down and have an honest conversation with your family to outline boundaries. For example, ask your family to limit noise and distractions when you are working, or that visits into your office be infrequent and not without a point.
Have A Dedicated Home Office
If you’re going to be serious about working from home, you will need to have a dedicated space in which to do so, even if you have to renovate your home or re-purpose an old room. This will make it much easier for you to keep your work and personal life separate, for you can literally close the door to prevent distractions or put your mind in work mode. For instance, if you don’t plan to have an office but just mean to work around your home with your laptop wherever strikes your fancy, you run the risk of getting distracted by housework, going to the kitchen for snacks or playing with your children. As a self-employed individual, you have to be excellent at budgeting your time and any temptation to sabotage that should be avoided.
Have Business Hours
The easiest step to take towards managing your time now that you work from home is simply to have business hours. Use time tracking apps if you must, but this will help ensure you work during a set time and are off during a set time. Of course, you also have to be flexible, so if you have little to do one day, you might be able to take some time off. Having set hours will also help you know when to stop working. When you work from home, it’s much harder to separate your work life from your personal life, and if you never really leave work, you could run into issues. A good example: if you answer client emails at one in the morning, you set the precedent that you are available then, and a client may actually call or demand your attention at one in the morning when you do not want them to. So establishing and maintaining boundaries is important.
Prioritizing tasks that must be completed is another ingredient when it comes to managing your time. At the beginning of each day, make a list of work-related tasks that need to be done, and prioritize them based on what needs to be done first or within a certain time limit. Writing tasks down is proven to make them more likely to be completed. This will go a long way towards managing your business and personal time as you work from home.
Plan Personal Days Off
Choose at least one day off a month to have some fun. You can make a list of fun things you want to do, such as go to the park, visit historical sites or go swimming. Hold yourself to these promises and actually do them – always allow some “me time.” You can also take these days to schedule “dates” with your spouse, children and friends to ensure that you set aside some time on a regular basis for the people who matter most to you.
Balancing your family and work time while working from home can be a challenge, but there are a lot of tried and true methods that will make the transition easier for you and your family. Be sure to use these self employment income tips to ensure your work-at-home career has a healthy work-life balance.