When you work from home, you are the envy of all your commuter friends and family…you know the ones with “real” jobs. You can work in your pajamas if you really want to, you can set your own schedule, you can stop for soap operas or to play with the kids (in a fantasy world, I know).
But what if the lure of pajamas just isn’t enough? We have all hit that proverbial brick wall of burn out where you feel like working from home isn’t as great as everyone thinks. Let’s face it, you are stuck in the same place all day. If you have laundry that needs to be done, it stares at you with disgust from across the room. If you have little ones running around, the thought of an adult conversation or 5 minutes alone (a la bathroom break) is completely out of the question. Not to mention all of the chores that you have put off just for those extra few minutes on the computer. Well, sister it’s time for some change!
Most people think that when you work from home, you can do whatever, whenever…fly by the seat of your pants kinda thing. But if you run a business, no matter where it is, you need some sort of structure. Otherwise, you will get burnt out and nothing ever really gets accomplished. In order to have structure, you have to come up with a system. Unfortunately, in 7 years of owning my own business (Moxie Pear – graphic/logo design for creative businesses — shameless self promotion alert!). I haven’t found a one size fits all system. You have to come up with something that works for your family and living situation. But all is not lost, here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Carve out business only time. It can be at night, early in the morning or during the day but you need to have a set time that you can focus solely on work. If you need to split up your time, 1+hour intervals work great because you can focus on certain tasks during each block. Oh and by work time, I mean actually work…no Twitter and/or Facebook browsing!
- When you are “at home” don’t do any work! I have a hard time with this one simply because I am a workaholic. I LOVE my job and I can’t help it. I do realize that it is important to give your attention to others during non-work hours…it can also help you take your mind of business and relax. If you have a door to your office, shut it and don’t go back until work hours resume.
- Take time for yourself. This one is so important because most of us put others way before ourselves. While this is great and all, you still need to take a break and do something nice for you. What do you enjoy? Take an hour a week to do it…no excuses!
- Remember your health. This is also one that I struggle with but have gotten slightly better over the last year. (Ok, I am lying! I am still horrible at this!) Because most of us sit in a chair when we work, this isn’t great for circulation or the waist line. Take time during the day to get up and walk around. If its nice outside, go for a short walk or just get the mail. Anything to get you up and moving around is good.
I know creating some sort of structure for your business can be difficult but it is extremely important if you plan to grow. As with anything in business, I think your structure can evolve over time. Don’t be afraid to try something. After all, if it doesn’t work…just change it up until you find a good balance.
Since we all need a little inspiration when working from home, I designed a little print out just for OMHG! readers. 🙂 When printed, it will fit in a standard 8×10 frame so it’s perfect to put somewhere in your office as a pick me up if you ever start feeling the burn out.
Just click the image up top or here to download. Enjoy!