How to Work From Home Without Becoming a Recluse
By Deborah Sweeney on July 31, 2014
One of the BIGGEST challenges I face when working from home is staying social. It is so easy to just get lost in your work - before you know it your weekend is gone and you haven’t seen anyone outside of your immediate family for three days. And I know for a fact that this is an issue that a lot of businesswomen deal with. The National Women’s Business Council found that 88.3% of women-owned businesses were non-employer, so the owner is the only employee. And there’s nothing wrong with that! A lot of small businesses don’t have any staff when they start up, but non-employers are much more likely to be run out of someone’s house, instead of an office space. When you never have to leave the house, it can be easy to forget the outside world! Since I wind up bringing my work home with me, I’ve found that there are a few tricks to force myself to get out of the office.
Have meetings in person.
Skype, email, and texting have all made meetings very convenient. You don’t even have to go anywhere to talk to somebody. But talking to someone in-person is still one of the best ways to connect and when you’re pitching an idea or talking to a vendor; you want to foster a good rapport from the start. If you live close enough where an in-person meeting is feasible, turn off Skype and get together that afternoon at a coffee shop.
Only do work while in your office.
Learning how to leave your work at your office can feel wrong – almost counterintuitive – especially if you work from home. But that’s not a very healthy attitude to have. Studies regularly find that entrepreneurs report stress more often than other type of worker. Teach yourself how to leave work at work, and a great way to do that is to only do work while you’re in your workspace. Your house needs to remain your house; otherwise you’ll just find yourself dashing around, doing more work and ignoring the rest of your life.
Give yourself a break now and then.
One of the hardest parts about being an entrepreneur is learning how to relax. When you work for someone else, you tend to know when all of your work is done. But when you are your own boss, the work never stops coming in. You wind up avoiding lunches and dates and get-togethers because it feels like you always need to be working on something. You are human. You have limits. It’s okay to walk away and take a break when you feel burnt out. And a great way to recharge your batteries is to spend some time outside of the office. Trust me, your friends and family will be ecstatic to see you crawl out from underneath your work!
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