How to maintain your work/ life balance when you run a small business from homeStuart Taverner
One of the great things about running a business from home is the 30 second commute, which is probably how long it takes you to get from your kitchen table to your desk. It definitely beats the 40 minute journey some of us have to endure to get to work each day. You also save on rent or buying office space, you don’t need to worry about what to wear, and you have flexible working hours.
It may seem like a dream to set up your business at home, but the question on many home business owners’ lips is ‘how do I maintain my work/life balance? Here are some tips we have come up with to help you maintain this balance:
Sure, not having to wear a suit, be in the office from 9-5 is probably why you started your home business in the first place. But structure is so important, especially with all the distractions that come from being at home such as family, friends and housework. For example setting an hourly goal and meeting it is a great way to feel like you are achieving something. Establishing structure not only helps you to be disciplined but will also allow people to know when you are and aren’t available. Which follows onto the next tip…
Create your own Work Space
Even if space is limited, it is important to create a designated work area. It will help you focus and also overcome any conflicts with family members who also need to use the home phone/ computer/ fax machine.
Know when to leave the ‘office’
It can be tempting to work 24/7 and it’s easy to do when you love what you’re doing! While there are advantages to instant access, it’s also a challenge to you other daily responsibilities. That’s when you need to set boundaries. I know a home business owner who has turned off the email function on her phone so that she only reads emails during her planned office hours so she doesn’t feel the constant pull of checking and replying to emails when she is with her family.
Take time to do Something you Love
Remember to put some time aside to do something you enjoy- other than work! Taking some time to play a round of golf or engage in your hobby of choice will revitalise you.
Find Time for your Finances
Whether you are self-employed not, it’s important to feel like your finances are under control. In order to do this, you need to get some accounting software in place and start using it! Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses, and using accounting tools early will help you to get a grasp on your business finances from the outset.