Woman Entrepreneur Working From Home
I have been working at home and running a business for quite a few years now. I have a husband and two small children. So far we are all still alive and the house hasn’t burned down. This is only because I have figured out a few things. Having talked to other women who work from home I discovered similar challenges and concerns are shared whether they have a family, are single, just starting out or have been at it for years.
Balancing all that we do and take on as women can be difficult, especially when running a business.
This is how I handle all that life throws at me and still manage to successfully run a business.
Lesson 1: Schedules and to-do lists are important. People get this image of me working from home, doing laundry and playing with the kids, then occasionally sitting down to answer emails (and being able to finish an entire cup of coffee while its still hot!). I’d love if that were the way it is (mostly the coffee part) but really its a big juggling act. My days are scheduled and everything is in my calendar and color-coded (5 colors =work, me time, family, household, husband time).
For my work time I have it broken down even further to answering emails and then a list of specific tasks I need to accomplish that day or week.
Cross things off as you go, it helps you keep track and shows what you were able to accomplish. If you were sitting at your computer all day but only crossed off one thing…it might be time to close that Pinterest window for a bit
Lesson 2: Your schedule will never be exact, being flexible and not freaking out is just as important as making the schedule. Life happens, things come up, kids need things, people get sick…you get the idea. The goal here is to keep focused. It’s your schedule, you made it, and you can change it!
Lesson 3: Its ok to turn off your phone and wait until later to answer an email. This is probably the hardest lesson for me to get, I want badly to make sure everyone is happy at every moment. I have learned that most people are ok if it takes you a couple hours to answer an email rather then a couple of seconds. It’s also perfectly acceptable to say “I got your email and I will respond tonight” Do not be a slave to that alert going off.
Lesson 4: The mess will still be there, your clients and your family etc. may not be. Prioritizing is a necessity.
Family and time to yourself should not be neglected because the house isn’t clean or you have an email to answer. In the same lesson, your work and clients are what is allowing you to be home, so you need to prioritize and make sure they are working for everyone involved.
Lesson 5: The mess will still be there (yes, same as above)…you do occasionally need to make sure the house is livable and that you can find your desk to work at
Lesson 6: Just smile, tomorrow is another day to conquer the world.
So the moral of the story? Anyone who works at home can tell you it may not be for everyone, it takes a lot of discipline and learning about yourself and your own bad habits to be able to evolve, change and make it all work. Schedule, list, prioritize, learn to roll with the punches and smile.