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I have been self-employed since 2012...with some very steep changes to life and health recently.
It's a privilege to be able to work from the comfort of your own home but it can also be a drawback, either to your business or to your family life.
I know many people who struggle to strike that healthy balance between business and home life. Some have no boundaries in terms of the number of hours they work. The other issue is the imposition of family life with all your 'businessy' tools and resources.
I may be so much more conscious of this issue as a single parent, who is self-employed, runs a charity and has raised two kids 'single handedly'. My girls roll their eyes and mime at this line as it is much used, mainly in an aim to get people to see that if I can do it....anyone can, seriously, anyone can do this.
Today I will cover the some important aspects to striking a balance so that your family doesn't feel like their habitat is in fact, a busy office. This blog is much longer and if you want to read the full version go here.
The ideal scenario would be to have a separate room as your office...a separate office for some is a distant dream. I'm a Londoner, I empathise completely.
The reality for most of us is a corner in the lounge or kitchen...hopefully no one works from their bedroom...not good Feng Shui guys!
Getting this right took me a while and few scary dagger looks from my girls to get organised.
1. If you haven't already, designate a space that will be your work area, if it's small-ish, get boxes, mini cabinets, magazine holders to keep things in place and in order. Getting organised and starting as you mean to go on is the most important aspect of this way of working.
Start sloppy and you'll waste precious profit making time trying to organise a system when you really could have put it in place at the start.
Don't get too highly strung about staying in one corner...that can really strangle your creative flow...if the weather is good why not work in the garden, patio, balcony whatever out door space you have? After all isn't that the beauty of homeworking?
Consider Your Kinspeople Who Share Your Dwelling
I'm sure you have, but there are a few things to consider when you are about to set up your homeworking arrangements.
It can be very tempting to work all the hours the great universe has given us. Granted, when you first start your own business, this is a very necessary evil to get the momentum going BUT you still need to make some time for you, your family, your friends otherwise you'll burn out.
If you want more on action planning and time management read these then watch these
I don't know about you but I'm a real homebody so being at home most days is a dream come true for me, I love being in my own domain.
However, if you aren't careful you are in danger of becoming an antisocial hermit, a condition that is never good for business.
We humans are naturally social beings, isolation is our enemy, maybe more of an enemy to extroverts than introverts, but we all need our social contact (some need more than others).
When working from home, there is that added bonus of food on tap. This temptation is as bad as Adam's experience in Eden and if you aren't careful the evidence will land directly onto your waistline...or the lack of it!
Granted, this is rather an uphill struggle when PMS is at its bloody height...fight it girls, fight it!
Men, if you get similar non- PMS related peckish episodes...be the warrior I know you are...avoid it at all costs!
One of the biggest hurdles and temptations when working from home, one I have to admit I indulge in from time to time, is that you can lounge around in your 'Jim Jams', pyjamas for those of you who didn't get my baby talk lingo.
Don't do it too often because your mind has a way of identifying time zones, if you don't follow a set routine, i.e. the routine of getting up early, getting dressed...your mind set won't be well positioned for work...neurology my dear Watson, neurology.
Being self-employed can be a hard graft, it's easy to lose sight of why you did it in the first place...it is so much easier going to work and letting somebody else worry about the finer detail.