It’s great to be your own boss, set your own hours and have a commute that doesn’t require you to leave the house. That said, being self-employed can seriously blur the line between your work life and your personal life. To avoid becoming burnt out and stressed, achieving balance is vital.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Have a Regular Routine
When you’ve been working for yourself for a while, you start to develop an idea of what your regular work week looks like. Schedule blocks of time to get regular projects done. It’s also a good idea to leave yourself some wiggle room for unexpected problems or interruptions. That way, you won’t feel knocked off course and off schedule when issues arise.
Additionally, create your routine according to your productivity levels. If you’re the most productive in the morning, that’s when you should take care of in-depth projects and tasks. In the afternoon, you can do things like research, respond to emails and plan the rest of your week.
Just as you create a work routine, you should also create a routine before you start your day. For instance, just like with a regular job, you can create a routine where you workout, shower, get dressed and have breakfast to kick off your day. Remember, a routine helps get your mind in the desired mood.
It’s great to get work done, but it’s even better to work with a specific goal in mind. Having daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals and crossing them off as you accomplish them lets you know you’re truly getting work done.
This is better than feeling as if you’re just aimlessly spinning your wheels with no destination in mind. In regards to finding balance, setting and completing goals maximizes your time and energy, better ensuring you don’t feel as if you forgot to do something when you’re done for the day.
When your friends and family learn you work from home and set your own schedule, they may assume they can drop by, call or ask for a favor any time of the day. After all, you aren’t really working, right? Sure, you can indulge them, but slacking off to please others isn’t how you get work done.
You also have to think about the fact that every minute you don’t work is a minute your financial and professional obligations go unmet. Let bills motivate you to set boundaries, and let those closest to you know they should treat you and your time the same as they would anyone with a traditional job.
Have a Dedicated Work Space
You can bet that innovators and professionals like Harry Stylli and Warren Buffet didn’t get where they are without having a dedicated workspace. Set up a desk, office chair and whatever else you need to get all your work done, and set that station up in a home office.
When you sit down at your dedicated workspace, your mind knows it’s time to get to work, just like when you create a routine for yourself. If you’re self-employed with a family, it’s even more critical you have a dedicated workplace. That way, you have a place to work where you can better ensure you aren’t going to be distracted or otherwise interrupted.
Let everyone in the house know this is your sacred space and that they aren’t to use it or interrupt you when you’re in that space. Now, are you starting to see why proper boundaries are essential for a proper work/life balance?
There are many great things to enjoy about working for yourself, but you maximize those benefits when you can maintain a proper balance. Do yourself a favor and put the above suggestions to good use. Best of luck!