Balancing work and life, or as its popularly referred to as The Work Life Balance.
Balancing your work and home life with a regular 9 to 5 is hard enough, doing it when you work from home is FAR more challenging. You will find that operating a home business will bring to light many new challenges. Some of the best advice I can offer is contained right here.
I love it when I see work-at-home programs on TV and on the Internet displaying images of wealth and retirement associated with their programs. They always show someone sailing on a yacht sipping on champagne or swinging their 5-iron on the back nine, or relaxing in a hammock on some beach in the Caribbean.
They all talk about taking back your life and how much time you can now have for family and the important things in life. Working from home will FINALLY allow you all the time you need to do personal and fun things. They make it look as though with a minimal time investment you'll be relaxing and living large in no time.
Well that's a Big Brown Load Lorraine. Let me break it down...
Running your own home business certainly has its benefits, but it also has its drawbacks. You're no idiot, surely you realize there's good and bad in everything in life. Believe me it's FAR better to be in control of your life and your own destiny, but don't be fooled by those images of instant wealth and retirement. These people are selling something. Remember that Reggie!
You're smart enough to know there is a trade off with everything in life. Nothing is perfect and I feel that if you're going to succeed with your home business, you should be well aware of what really awaits you as a work at home entrepreneur.
The big myth in running your own home-based business is that it will allow you to spend more time with your family. Now this is technically true - simply due to the fact that you will be working from home means that you'll be around your family most of the time out of default. But that doesn't necessarily mean that time is quality nor recreational.
You must understand your HOME is now also your place of BUSINESS. You make your own schedule, true, but this doesn't mean you will have any more free time than you had if you worked a regular 9 to 5.
Working from home presents time management challenges. At home you have the opportunity for far more distractions than in a traditional work place, i.e. the kids, spouse, relatives, the bed, the dog, chores, TV, the doorbell, the bed, phone, the couch, the refrigerator, the co-ed next door, the bed, the gardening, the newspaper, the bed, the next installment of Harry Potter...
Did I mention the bed...GET THE IDEA?
Homes, by nature, are a MINE-FIELD of distraction. These distractions will limit the amount of actual free time you have to spend with your family on true recreation. Now distractions are unavoidable, falling prey to them is avoidable. In order to keep focused on work you must create a work schedule and stick to it. When it's time to work you must get to work.
So what can you do? You should keep a calendar, schedule and to-do list. Utilizing Microsoft's Outlook program is the BEST way to accomplish this. Outlook quite literally acts as your personal assistant.
Just not as pretty...or handsome...depending on which way your door swings.
Get up every morning and act as though you're going out to work. Keep regular work hours and don't stray from them. All these things combined, will help to minimize falling prey to distraction.
Distraction will either take away from your leisure time or your work time. Leisure time means less quality and work time means less money, you can't afford either. If you adhere to this you'll have plenty of time for both business and leisure in your life.
I also suggest setting up your office someplace in your home where you can have some privacy. Avoid setting it up in your bedroom or other common area of the home. Find a location where you will have ample room. Any place where you can lock the door, and not be disturbed by household activity is optimal.
Running a successful business requires a serious time commitment. If you don't spend time on business activities, how can it possibly become profitable and flourish? I've never met a wealthy business owner that didn't invest regular hours into their business. Sure they play hard and take long vacations, but it's all relative, because they put in 16-hour work days when they're at work.
Do you think if Bill Gates only spent 20 hours a week developing Windows he'd be the richest man in the world today? Maybe tomorrow, but not today.
The bottom line is if you don't approach your home business with realistic expectations you will certainly set your self up for failure. Don't pay attention to the Get Rich Easy scams. Nothing worth doing is ever easy.
Be patient, stay focused, work smart, be flexible and again BE PATIENT!
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