The Importance of Balance
This is the first entry into my new blog page that I hope will help those working from home for themselves to succeed so I thought I would start with the work life balance.
“Work at Homers” spend almost ALL of their time at home. This can make it difficult to manage time. I find that being here in the house all day every day can skew my perception of time and urgency. I know my son gets a little frustrated with me because I tend to work A LOT more hours than most people with jobs outside of the house do. Heck, I wake up at 3 am to go to the bathroom, see my computer and end up doing SOMETHING that has to do with my home businesses for a while before I finally give in to sleep again. I also find that it can get a little hairy when it comes to deadlines. I’m so comfortable in my surroundings that I can be lax in my efforts to get things done on time and end up rushing to complete the task at the last minute. Let’s think about this for sec…I work at home to be available for my family and reduce stress…hm.
I will admit that my recent interest in work life balance has been because my son is getting sick of my excuses about why I can’t play or take him to his friends house etc. So here is what I decided to do to help myself get on track and calm down. If you decide to empliment any of these things or all of them, let me know if they helped!!
1. I HAVE CREATED A WORK SCHEDULE:
I sat down with my son and we decided which hours and how many would work for both of us while still allowing me to make a good living and my son has vehemently committed to helping me stick to it. I am a single mom and my son is almost a teen so this works for me. If you have a signifigant other I would suggest that BOTH of you speak to your children about what you do and how it effects the family. Plans usually work better when everyone is on board. Our new schedule has been in effect for a month or so and I have to say…I wish I would have done it sooner. My kiddo doesn’t even have to remind me to clock out anymore. (yes, I clock in and out as a way to self check.)
2. I HAVE CREATED A SYSTEM OF “SLEEP HYGIENE”
If you aren’t sure what sleep hygiene is, let me explain…it is defined as behaviors that one can do to help promote good sleep using behavioral interventions. Basically, I have found a routine of activities that help to calm me down when it’s time to go to bed. In the work at home profession, sleep is IMPORTANT and sleep is hard to come by when you are running around with your head cut off all day, taking care of your family and trying to meet deadlines that are past due because you were so busy that you put them off. My sleep hygiene looks like this: Shower, read at least one chapter of a book while listening to nature sounds and drinking hot chamomile tea. I’ve been doing this for about two weeks now and it shows. I’m not waking up at 3 am, I’m better able to focus during the day and I’m actually making more money because of it.
3. I HAVE ORGANIZED MY SPACE:
I was working wherever I could put my crap down and it wouldn’t fall off while I was struggeling to use my laptop and fight for space with my dogs or my child. I set up a temporary desk (mostly because I’m cheap and still haven’t purchased one yet) using a card table and my “rollie chair”. The table is just large enough to hold my laptop and everything I need to complete whatever task I’m working on but small enough not to take over my tiny little apartment in the city. Having an organized space of my own has also been a factor in my recent success making money from home. Clutter is just as distracting as my dogs and friends so getting it out of the way has made my life 100% easier. Not all clutter can be chucked, however. I had my son go through the house and pick up ALL of the things he’s left laying around. Your family should be helping in all parts of life, including your business. If everyone is pitching in, it’ll be a rare day that things get out of hand and become a distraction.
4. I HAVE FOUND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
If you’re not sure what that is…let me explain…An accountability partner is a person who coaches another person in terms of helping the other person keep a commitment. When I realized that I was not making the decisions I needed to make to keep on track so I asked my closest girlfriend to help me out. I tell her my goals for the week and sometimes for the day and she checks in on me to be sure I’m holding up my end of this thing. Her encouragement and occaisional calling of my bs excuses has changed everything. She’s not my boss by any means but I hate to see her disapointed and I don’t want to be the person who causes it. This has become my motivation for following through.
5. I SCHEDULED TIME FOR MYSELF AND MY FAMILY:
Work and money are all good but if you’re unsure of why you’re doing it, look at the people around you. You spouse or signifigant other, your children, your parents, your siblings and your friends. Money makes the world go round but the people you care about make it worth the ride. If you are constantly focused on work and money, you will burn out and your business will fail. Sure, it seems as if the more time you put in the more money you make, but that is only true to a point. Putting 16 hours into a home business is counter productive and a little masochistic. If you’re working and not spending any time having fun or being peaceful you are NOT remembering WHY you decided to go this route. Having your own business is not the easy way out of anything, so if you decided to do it, you had a good reason. My why is my son. He’s a great kid with Aspberger’s. He needs a lot of extra time and someone who can drop everything to help him whenever he needs it. He looks at me to learn what to do when he grows up and how to be with any family he will grow up to have. I wanted to show him that he can work for himself doing what he’s good at succeed as well as be happy. We have been taking our dogs to the park regularly, catching a movie here and there and spending time together like we used to. He reminds me every day why I am doing things the way I am.
At the end of the day it’s entirely up to you how you run your business and your life. I read an article recently that made me think twice about how I’m living mine. I hope you find a way to balance all of the things in your life to make it a happy one. The link to the article I read will be at the bottom of this post.
Do yourself a favor, make your time count, we only have one run at this life.