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Getting to work on time when you're the boss
As a home-based business operator, how easy is it to get side-tracked with household chores before you even start your working day?
Admittedly, I'm a little obsessive-compulsive when it comes to an orderly home. I like to make sure everything is clean and taken care of before I leave the house. It is that same all-consuming compulsion that nags at me before I can start my work day. You think, "I'll just throw those whites in the wash" but you know that the housework won't end there and it almost certainly never does.
Think about this question: Would you hang back at home in the morning to clean everything if it meant you'd be late to a normal 9-5 office job? Now, apply that same concept to the operation of your home-based business. My OCD solution: deal with the messy kitchen the night before... or better yet, get the hubby to sort it out instead!
You might be your own boss, but you should still try and set yourself regular work hours and stick to them. You’ll find that having a regular morning routine will help to shift you from your home habitat into the work habitat. People think that home-based business owners sleep until lunch time and work all throughout the afternoon. This might be the case with some, but the most of us with partners and children are up and awake with the rest of the working world. It’s best to think of your home-based business in the same way that you would if you were working in an office for someone else. While it's great to have the flexibility - and indeed, you need to be flexible in running your own small business - it's also nice to offer your clients a little consistency with your hours of operation.
By establishing the hours in which you are in your professional space and making them known to your clients, they are less likely to call you after-hours. The main benefit of blocking out time in your day exclusively for business, however, is that you're mentally defining the invisible line between work and play. In this case, the invisible line is applied to your time.
As a home-based business owner, the ability to separate your home habitat from your work habitat is paramount to maintaining the balance between the two activities that take place in your home: living and working. With set hours of operation, you will find that you're more productive in the hours you've designated for business AND more likely to relax and enjoy your home life when you hit that "5 o'clock knockoff" (but let's be honest, it's really more like 3pm, right?).