Your work/life balance

Finding a balance between spending time working on your business and sharing quality time with your family can be difficult when you run a home business. You often have the flexibility to set your own hours, but you need to separate professional and personal time.

Distractions caused by your family, friends and pets during your working day can equate to a significant amount of lost time, which often equals lost income.

Schedule your working hours

Keep a diary and schedule regular start, break and finish times to ensure maximum productivity. Make your family aware of your schedule so they will not interrupt you while you are working, and will keep the distractions to a minimum. Consider working early in the morning or at night when children are in bed; these times can be quiet and interruption-free.

Be wary of becoming obsessed with your home business, working long hours and failing to take time off. One of the advantages of operating a home business is the flexibility it offers you and your family, so make the most of it.

Set up a separate work area

Make sure you have a separate room or enclosed area where you can work. If possible, invest in a separate telephone line for the business. This separation will help you treat it as a place of focus and concentration.

Get motivated

Running a successful home business requires self-discipline, especially if you are a sole trader. Without the social interaction and motivation that occurs in a corporate office, you may feel a lack of focus. One strategy to keep you motivated is to set small hourly goals.

For example, your goal for 10am to 11am may be to call 10 potential clients, while 3.30pm to 4.30pm is set aside for writing an article for your weekly newsletter. You will feel a sense of achievement as you meet each of these goals, which should motivate you further.

Consider contacting Small Business Solutions to find a mentor who will help you set short and long-term goals for your business.

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