One of the biggest misconceptions with working from home, whether you are working for yourself or a company, people think this means you can do whatever you want. Lounge around all day with no concept of what you will do that day. Just roll out of bed and onto the computer and make money. Make money for your business, make money for the company.
Oh yeah, and now you Wake Up……..
While you do have the freedom to make your own schedule, and change that schedule as necessary based on your current work and family demands, try to set work hours.For someone who has a child in school, these hours could be 7am to 3pm.
This gives you an uninterrupted time to work. For someone who has young children in the home and a day full of interruptions, it may make sense to work from 8 pm until 2am, leaving a bit of time for sleep before the children wake for the day. Whatever your work hours may be, don’t be tempted to clean house or run errands during your work hours.
If you had a traditional job, you wouldn’t be home to wash dishes, do laundry, or sweep the floors. Those things can wait until after work, whether you work in the home or outside it.
The Reality for Telecommuters & Entrepreneurs
One of the reasons that I love working from home and also owning a home business is the ability to handle many of my household duties in a manageable method. Lets face it, once you work from home, the concept of lunch breaks go out the door. Either you are working through lunch or you are doing your home business.
What happens is when you clock out, the family is home, and you have to put on your mom/dad hat on and it can get overwhelming.
Please note if you have young children who are not yet ready for school, consider a babysitter or having another family member keep an eye on the child. It is hard when in the middle of a meeting, you hear something drop and wonder………
For those of you who have home businesses, it may be easier to manage this as you may not have a set schedule yet, but just because you are your own boss, doesnt mean you dont need a schedule.
Here is a method to help set realistic work hours whether you are a Telecommuter or an Entrepreneur.
Organization: Get ready Prior to starting your Work Day.
Early Morning (after the kids & spouse are gone)
- I try to eat breakfast and have my coffee already waiting before I start answering work emails.
- I also arrange my work area appropriately. My work information is waiting by the computer, not copies of bills, or the latest ebook on Internet Marketing. Stay focused.
- Laundry: separate all clothes that need to be washed. You can wash loads in between work. That is the easiest cleaning to do within work hours because the time it takes for you to get another cup of coffee, you can throw a load in the dryer and run another load.
It is easy to start working in your pajamas, and it is easy to work through the day in those pajamas. The problem is that you never officially get ready for work. Remember when they told us in high school to dress to impress. Would it kill you to put on a different set of clothes.
Good grief, you might actually have to iron clothes to work from home 🙂 I didn’t say to put on a business suit, but different clothes does help get you mentally ready.
So if your mindset is still set to lounging around the house, you are not that productive if the mind is not there.
Environmental Psychology Tip
- One tip I do when I start working is to open the blinds. This tells me that the day has started.
Lunch Time: Does that still exist?
Lunch Break: Since everyone always eats outside of an official lunch break, here is what you can do.
Start on dinner. Throw the meat in the oven, or the slow cooker. You can always cook the starches and vegetables during your normal time. Those are the easiest to make.
Exercise: Catch up on a 20-30 minute workout. Nothing too strenuous or you wont go back to work, you will go back to bed.
Household Cleaning: Fold and put away the clothes that you washed this morning. Dust Furniture, Vacuum Carpet, Sweep the Floors, Handle other Household duties such as Phone calls, emails for the house (calling your child’s school, calling the plumber, etc.)
Need extra motivation to get Housework done? : Read these tips from Money Saving Mom.com on housework motivation.
Leave Email & Social Media Alone
For most self-employed people who work from home, email and social media are critical parts of the business. However, they can be tremendous time suckers. You should schedule time to check and reply to your email and address your social media presence.
- Close out the email and social media tabs whenever you’re working. If you must have social media open during a project because it is related, turn off your chat functions, so you at least appear to be offline. Commit to checking your email and social media only at the predetermined times on your schedule.
- Save all personal social media activities for your personal time when you are “off the clock.” I mean really, how many pictures can you like in the daytime that you can easily “like” in the evenings. Don’t worry, Facebook and Twitter wont collapse if you don’t respond right away.
Follow some of these tips for a more realistic work hour for you. So what are your tips to keep sane in the day?