8 Top Tips to take the pressure off working from home

Having your own business and working from home can be stressful. Trying to create a balance between a Zen home life and a bustling business from your living room is no easy feat. Particularly if you have children and are trying to also juggle the school runs and play dates.

Here are our top tips from some successful home workers.

Tip 1:

Create a distinction between work time and home time.

Just as if you were working a normal 9-5, divide up your day and stick to it. Make sure that everyone in the household knows these hours and be strict with it. Not just for the sake of your business, but also your home life. If you say that work finishes at 5pm, then make sure you don’t even look at a fax or email that comes in after this time. Your family will appreciate the focus.

Tip 2:

Have a room dedicated to your business, or a divider up, and contain everything in it. Don’t let your work life “spill” over into other rooms as this creates not just a physical encroaching, but also a mental one. If you have dossiers to read beside the stove, then chances are that you will read them where you stand and you’ll have some hungry children pulling at your apron tails.

Tip 3:

No PJ’s! Just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean that you can remain unwashed and be un-presentable. Dress as if you were really going to work, and it will put you in the right frame of mind to be as productive as possible. You don’t have to wear a three-piece suit everyday, but perhaps a general dress code of a “dress down Friday” is suitable!

Tip 4:

Keep all personal tasks, phone calls and email to a minimum, use your lunch breaks or make up the time “after work”. This will make sure that you use your time effectively and will remove most distractions.

Tip 5:

Use a Virtual Office as your registered address.

This way, you won’t have random people turning up at your house expecting you to give them a consultation. You don’t want the neighbours to start talking! You can have all your mail sent there, and you can either pick it up yourself, or have them send it on to you. This is a relatively cheap service for what you get and for the impression it gives to your clients. It’s all above board too, nothing to be shy about disclaiming. At some locations you can even hold meetings there, which in itself opens up more opportunities and puts you in a more professional arena to conduct your business from. 78 York Street in Marylebone, W1 offer discounts on their meeting room bookings to clients that have a registered address, and on block bookings in advance.

Tip 6:

Have a Telephone Answering Service answer your calls!

This is an invaluable service for any home worker, as especially during busy periods you can’t be on more than one call at one time! Let a virtual assistant answer your calls in your company name and they can screen those annoying sales calls (for free!) and transfer genuine enquiries straight to your mobile/ home phone. Your callers will think that your receptionist has answered the phone. A fraction of the cost of hiring one! This will also mean that your calls are always answered professionally for those school runs and toilet breaks you’ve scheduled!

Tip 7:

Log what you do throughout the day. Put times next to the task completed so that you can review it later and see how your day went. This will give you a sense of achievement when you can actually track what you’ve done. It will motivate you for the next day to achieve just as much if not more. Not having a boss looking over your shoulder might seem like a blessing, but at least it got you working! Now you’re your own boss… look over your own shoulder! (Not like a dog chasing its tail, but you know what I mean!)

Tip 8:

Join other home workers on forums and blogs to keep you sane!

Even though you may work from home, alone.. there are millions of people doing the same thing. Keep social by airing your views, frustrations and helpful tips on a blog and you’ll soon feel part of a community of entrepreneurs all striving to be successful!!

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