Home-based business professionals have challenges when it comes to keeping their work and personal space separate. In this new economic landscape, more and more people are working from home and attempting to create a balance between their personal and business lives. I am one of those people. But it wasn’t long ago that working from home was not looked upon so keenly. Judgments and assumptions were made about you if you worked from home. Sometimes business was lost to brick and mortar operations because of the “unprofessional” assumptions people had about work-from-home professionals.
To tell you the truth, I too had those same thoughts and feelings about working from home, until I just fell into creating my home/work life while I was pregnant with my daughter 8 years ago. At the time I had 3 retail stores in the Bay Area and I was living in Los Angeles, so I really had no local office to go to. I started working from home as a necessity. At first, it took a little getting used to. But I was able to make it work and now I would never consider anything else at this stage of my business. Just thinking of having the overhead of a store or office makes me feel claustrophobic. I experience freedom in working from home and I love that!
As a creative person, working from home should be easy, but it can be tricky as structure is more of a challenge. There are some tricks that can help you be productive when working at home and I would like to share the ones that have helped me.
1. Get Up Early & Get To Bed Early
Creating a routine is very important for your sanity and your productivity. So get up early as if you were going to go to work somewhere, take a shower and dress for business. Mornings are the most productive part of our day, so use them to get your most important tasks out of the way. Get up and go to bed at the same time. If you stick to this you’ll find that you get more done and you won’t have to work as late. Make your weekends time to decompress and take a break as well.
2. Eat Regular Meals, No Munching Allowed
With busy schedules it can sometimes be hard to make time to nourish your body. Don’t forget to feed yourself. Eating 5 small meals a day will help keep your metabolism up, especially if you exercise regularly.
It’s easy to get really comfy at home because there’s no real reason to leave the house anymore…right? Wrong, you want to make sure you schedule movement in your day even if it just walking the dog. Going to the gym can actually help your system get ready for the day ahead.
4. Keep Work & Home Things Separate
It is imperative to keep things separated, if you don’t you will find yourself loosing track of things and not getting all of your tasks done. If you have space for an office, please use it. If not, determine which home space to dedicate to your work and stick to it. An office helps keep distractions to a minimum and helps you feel like “you’re at work.”
5. Have A Start & Finish Time For Work
Try to treat working from home like a normal job, work starts at 9am and finishes at 5.30pm (if you need to work later you can). This way you’ll try to get everything you need to done. If the day is “unlimited” we may tend to waste time reading blogs & forums.
6. Schedule Your Day
You can use your web calendar or your email software to enter a “to-do” list, meetings and anything else that you need so you know exactly what to expect from your day.
7. Space Matters, Be Organized
Organization is key to working from home. File your paperwork, create folders in your computer to keep things easy to find, don’t let paperwork pile up, and always purge old notes, papers, binders and anything else you don’t use on a daily basis.
8. Build A Team
There’s no bigger bottleneck in your operation than yourself. If you see you can’t get everything done, outsource tasks, form partnerships with other affiliates or hire a VA (virtual Assistant) to help you with some simple tasks that can be done remotely.
9. Get Out & Have Fun!
Don’t overdo it, working from home is fun, but don’t let it get in the way of your personal time and time with your family. Make time to go out and connect with others. No one wants to be cooped up at home every day!
So it isn’t really that much different than having to work in an office. It will just require a bit more discipline though but it’s a great luxury to be able to work from home! And I can attest to the growth in confidence and the satisfaction that is derived from making my work/home life a success. Good luck & get to work.
About the Author:
Raised in Florence, Italy, Micaela “Bubola” Passeri is an author, speaker & style expert. She is the founder of the Love You Revolution, an empowering apparel line, writes guests articles for YourTango.com & is the style & travel expert for KSRO’s Travel Talk radio. “Bubola” creates custom designs for business owners & entrepreneurs, leads workshops for students at FIDM (Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising) & also designs & implements empowerment workshops at women’s shelters & schools throughout California. Find Bubola & follow the Love You Revolution on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube.