For home-based businesses, the temptation to keeping working is a constant. So what strategies can you adopt to maintain the all-important division between work and personal life?
1. Get dressed for work. Look professional. When you look professional, you feel professional and there is less temptation to lounge around or stay in your pyjamas until all hours.
2. Prepare for your day as though you are going to an office. Walk outside, and walk in the front door to your work area, prepared and ready to focus.
3. Be firm with friends and family – unexpected visitors can be an unwelcome distraction and it’s often hard to say no. Let your close ones know your hours of business are the same as if you were working in an office environment.
4. Keep your work space tidy and professional. Don’t be tempted with TV, games consoles, books or other things that could distract you.
5. Try and keep your work space separate to the area you relax in. Don’t associate your relaxation area with work.
6. If you have children, keep toys and play equipment well out of sight if you have clients who come to your house. Look at your surroundings and think: “Do I look professional and in control?”
7. Always take a break for lunch. Even if it’s a quick 10 minute walk – refresh and refocus and have a break from your surroundings.
8. Have an answering service for outside work hours. Many home business operators say that it’s too tempting to take that late night call when clients know you’re at home and answer.
9. Schedule time for outside activities that get you out of the house. Join a gym, a boot camp, a sport team – activities that not only get you out of the house, they make you feel good too.
10. Read up on other successful businesses for motivation. Check out Peter Switzer’s book <i>350 Ways to Grow Your Business<i> for tips on how other business owners have succeeded.
11. Join a network of other home businesses for support and advice. Chances are, any challenges you face in running your home business are being faced by others.