When you chose to become an entrepreneur or freelancer, you did so with the thought of freedom in your mind. You wanted to be free to be your own boss, decide your own schedule, and make as much money as you possibly could on your own terms.
One of the freedoms granted to you as an entrepreneur is to work from home. There is no more need to get up early in the morning, rushing to get out of the house, and sitting in traffic, just to sit in an office for 8-10 hours.
Now you can wake up when you chose to, walk down the hallway to your home office, and get on your computer to begin your workday.
It all sounds so lovely, doesn’t it? The freedom to work and make money from your home. But, is this dream like scenario actually the life that all home based entrepreneurs experience?
Many entrepreneurs working from home are people working hard to support their families. Their offices are in their homes, where every other member of their family sees home as a place for relaxation, not a place for business.
While you are working hard on a proposal, your kids are running around the house horse playing, affecting your ability to concentrate on your work. Your spouse interrupts you frequently, asking what you are doing, or saying what needs to be done around the house. You are working hard to support these people, and they are affecting your ability to get your work done.
You are frustrated about what is happening. Things have to change immediately for your home office to remain a place for conducting your business.
What you need are some ideas that will allow you to work in peace, while working from home. Fortunately, you aren’t the only person who has dealt with this situation. There are some practices that you can put into place that will provide you with a more productive work from home environment.
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When working from home, there should be rules in place that are communicated to your family members. They see you working from home, and believe that you are not really busy. Therefore, they don’t really respect your need for a peaceful working environment.
It is your responsibility to set the guidelines for how everyone should act when you are in work mode. Communicate the importance of why this is necessary. Let them know that your ability to make money to support the entire family is dependent on you having an environment to be productive. It is important they understand that distractions are productivity killers. Therefore, you can’t have them occurring while you’re working.
Some ways to set boundaries:
- Tell your family you will be working a set amount of hours. Let them now when these hours begin and when they end. During these hours you cannot be disturbed unless it is an absolute emergency.
- Put a do not disturb sign or work is in session sign on your home office door. This lets your family know that you are in the middle of working, and they should wait for you to open your door, signaling that your work is complete.
- Let your kids know that they can’t run around the house making noise when you are working. If you can’t make money, then they can’t expect to have a house to run around in. Let them know that they should either play outside, or they will have to keep things at a low level.
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Schedule Your Time
The key to being a home based entrepreneur is knowing how to schedule your time effectively. Always schedule your work day, a day ahead, or a week ahead of time. This allows for you to know exactly how your day is supposed to flow.
When scheduling your time, share this schedule with your family. Having them aware of your schedule helps to minimize interruptions. Now you are adding more reinforcing measures that allow for your day to remain productive.
It is important that you also schedule family time into your schedule. You don’t want your family to feel neglected, having them think that your work is more important than they are. Yes, you have to work hard to make money to support them, but they need your time also.
Schedule for family activities after your work is completed for the day. Your kids will look forward to this time, so they will give you your space to work, in anticipation of their scheduled time with you to begin.
Your spouse will also need their scheduled time too. Have time allocated where you all go on date nights, doing something away from the house Just as your kids, your spouse will allow you to work hard without interruptions when they know you all have a scheduled time for just you two to enjoy each other
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Get Out of the House
You will need to get out of the house to clear your mind from time to time. There may be days where all the measures you put into place are not working. When this occurs, let your family know that you will be leaving for an hour or two, and you expect a better environment when you come back.
Use your time away from home to go workout. This is one of the best ways to improve your work productivity. Regular exercise helps to produce more energy in your body, allowing for your brain to remain active for longer periods of time.
You can also go to a park to read a book. The benefits of reading are immense when it comes improving the strength of your brain. Reading outside will help you to be in a peaceful environment, calming your stress, while stimulating your mind.
Stepping away from the house should be used as a time to reduce your stress. It is not in your benefit to combat your family every single time an issue arises, regarding your word space at home. Doing so tends to make it harder for you to concentrate on your work because your frustration level is already high. Step away from home, and come back more relaxed and productive.
Working from home with your family around can be a tough balancing act. You have your roles as an entrepreneur parent and spouse all tugging at you for attention. It can sometimes be stressful to deal with, but with the right measures in place, you can significantly reduce the stress you experience.
Your choice to work from home should be your freedom to enjoy your work. Don’t let a disruptive home environment destroy that freedom. Set boundaries, enforce those boundaries, and allow yourself the opportunity to be successful while working from home.