If you work from home, it’s likely that you are already aware of your “double duty”.
While doing the laundry, keeping the kids in line, or preparing dinner, you undoubtedly work on your business.
Let’s not also forget about all the phone calls from relatives and friends asking you to run errands or simply “go out” for the afternoon.
Keeping your professional life apart from your family and social life is one of the most difficult aspects of having a home business.
Here are six tried-and-true strategies for managing both your personal life and your career.
Make a timetable for your workday and follow it.
Although it may be alluring to take personal calls during the day or business calls after hours, doing so actually portrays you as expendable and unreliable, and makes people assume that you’ll “always be there” for any minor issues that arise.
Despite the fact that family comes first, adhere to your business hours and repress the impulse to talk to friends or get groceries while you are at work.
“Working from home” may be interpreted by your friends as an invitation to chat during the day or to simply go out for coffee or some afternoon shopping.
Make it obvious that the times you are open for business are simply that—business hours.
You’ll discover that your pals will gradually accept your schedule without feeling offended if you save personal calls for after-hours.
It’s not necessary to work the same hours as everyone else just because you need to put up a timetable for yourself.
Setting your own hours to coincide with your most productive times is one of the advantages of working for yourself.
Regardless of whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, you’ll discover that when you pay attention to your body’s natural rhythms, you’ll accomplish far more.
Some individuals work in the morning, take a break when the kids get home from school in the afternoon, and then return to work in the evening.
You’ll discover that things get done more quickly, more easily, and better when you schedule your work time when you feel most productive than when you’re slogging along during the same set inflexible work hours that everyone else has.
It helps to have a separate business phone line, or at the at least an answering machine or voice mail, to take the incoming calls if receiving business calls during working hours or after hours is an issue.
Additionally, it offers your company a more professional impression to customers than if you and your family use the same phone line.
Try to keep your “home office” separate from the rest of your house, if at all possible.
If you don’t have the luxury of a private space, a screen or room partition might still be very useful.
Additionally, it shows family members that you are at work and shouldn’t be harassed.
When working, you should present yourself professionally.
Some people feel it advantageous to dress professionally while they are at work.
This demonstrates that working from home doesn’t devalue your professionalism in any way.
Keep your kids off the phone during business hours and answer the phone using your name or the name of your company.
Spend money on the equipment you’ll need to execute your work well as well.
Your home office can become a real workstation with the help of a cell phone, fax machine, or even a cheap computer.
If you implement all of these suggestions and maintain your routine, you’ll probably find one that not only makes you feel busy and productive in your career but also sends the signal that you mean business – in every sense!