This guest post is by Angie Nelson of The Work at Home Wife.
Prior to making the transition into working at home, many of us are under the impression that things will fall into place perfectly. Our homes will be clean. Dinner will be hot on the table each evening. We will be far more productive during our working hours. Everything will be perfect. Everything will be done! In most cases, it doesn’t quite pan out that way without a little intervention. Balancing work and home when you work at home can be done. It just takes a little fine-tuning.
Keep Office Hours
Working at home can be far more difficult than working in an outside office space. You may have children, parents, siblings, friends, a spouse, housework, Words with Friends, your favorite television show, or four million other distractions at any given time. On the flip side, you may have clients trying to get in touch during family time or that “one last thing” before you shutdown for the day, and things can spin out of control quickly. Establish office hours. Make them known to everyone involved. Stick with them.
Have a Prioritized List
Your list may include both personal and business goals. When you look at your business To Do list, identify those tasks that are Incoming Producing Activities. These should be a priority. The end-goal for many of us is to make the most income in the least amount of time. This means focusing our time appropriately.
Find Your Rhythm
Now that you have that prioritized list, you need to get things done. Productivity is the key to success. One excellent method for becoming more productive is called the Pomodoro Technique. You spend 25 uninterrupted minutes on one task and one task only. You can do that! That is manageable. Use an app like Pomodorohelper http://www.pomodorohelper.com/ to help get things done.
Know Your Limits and Get Help
There are only so many hours in your newly established workday. Remember those non-income producing activities that didn’t make the cut above? Those are tasks for which we want to enlist help. And we aren’t always talking about outsourcing to a paid service provider. Maybe you can trade your sister housekeeping for babysitting hours. Perhaps your nephew would be interested in exchanging lawn care services for help with his college scholarship applications. Get creative. Look at who asks you for help regularly and brainstorm a barter.
Make the Most of Personal Time
It is hard to disconnect. But if work-related thoughts are consuming every waking moment, everyone is suffering – you, your family and possibly your business. Actively work on turning off your “business brain” outside of work time. You may have to start one hour at a time, but make the effort. One of the reasons you started working at home was to spend more quality time with your family and have more peace in your life. Strive for that. You deserve it.
Angie Nelson has been working at home as a virtual assistant since 2007. You’ll find her writing about home business ideas, blogging advice and more on her blog The Work at Home Wife.
Her work at home drink? Water with a slice of lemon and a straw.