We'd like to know how you manage your work time at home! Please add to the discussion...
Here's My Tip:
First of all, let me say that I just wrote an entire page about this and lost my Internet connection suddenly...and as a result...lost what I wrote (lesson to self - create copy on a Word document then paste it in!). Now there’s a time waster!
Anyway, to recapture my thought…
One way to create more balance with family and business is to schedule as much as possible – even allowing scheduled time for family activities. Most of us know when we will be working and when our family spends time together – so make a general schedule for your week and use that as a sort of template from which to add or change as each day or week plays out. Use an Excel sheet Sun – Sat with the times along the left side – like an appt calendar – or any other electronic calendar that allows for easy editing. Then, post your schedule for the day/week somewhere noticeable so that everyone can see your plan and walk them through it at the beginning of each week. It will help them to feel like they play an important part in your business week and they might even help to create the weekly plan – reminding you of events you forgot about!
For those of you with “little ones”… keep a special “work” basket with toys and other items they can play with or pretend with that they only have when they are in the office (“work” room) with you. That way, they will feel that those items are “special” and look forward to your special work time if you position it the right way…be creative!
For the “bigger ones” – significant other included… You might try closing the office door when you are in “work” mode – allowing for emergencies and other important events to interrupt. Help your family to understand that even though you are home working, to try to treat it as if you were working away from home! Remember, though, to open the door when interruptions aren’t as critical.
As a rule, keep family time precious. Business calls that come outside of your business hours – and we all know that we easily get pulled by work on weekends, evenings, etc… - even responding to e-mails, Tweets, etc… will signal to your family that business is more important. Trying to keep a distinct separation, as best as possible, will keep you “in the moment” with your family and will help you to unwind and enjoy the reason you work from home in the first place!