Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Working at Home Part II

Last post I touched on a bunch of questions you should ask yourself about what it means or would mean to work at home. The life/work balance thing could really go both ways, and for each of us it may do that over and over again. We may find ourselves back and forth on that spectrum.
Let's say that each of us is working on a computer. That in itself is so many things to us now:
  • Communicating with friends.
  • Business communication
  • Web-surfing for work or pleasure
  • Socializing on networks like Facebook or Twitter for business or pleasure
  • Bookkeeping
  • Creating for work
  • Watching video for pleasure
  • Documenting our lives through blogs.
As I write this, I am being drawn in different directions. A problem? Sometimes, sometimes not. Honestly, if I had to do all the writing I do, just straight up, over a period of many hours, it wouldn't get done. The downside is that I am fostering a short attention span.

So, we would get more done in an office outside the home? Probably. Would we be happier? Probably not. That's where the balance comes in.

If you answered my first questions way back when about what it takes to be in business for yourself, you realize that discipline is key. How that looks can vary a great deal, but in the long run you need to get certain things done in a certain amount of time. I want to preface this also with saying that these are the needs of running a business. This is not about other parts of your personal equation like your spousal/family needs, etc. That's another post.
  • Make a daily list of to-do's for your work and realize that if something doesn't get done, it lands on the next busy day.
  • Be aware of your own energy levels and pattern of working. If you know that your attention span for detail work is at 8AM, do the bookkeeping then.
  • Give yourself little rewards for getting things done on time or ahead of schedule.
  • If you are prone to being sidetracked by personal interactions and you have a deadline, don't answer your phone without checking the caller id.
  • If you need a routine to make it feel like your work day has started, build one. Just like your body needs certain "cues" to know it's time to go to bed, it need's some direction to know it's time to get down to work.
Being in business for yourself means sticking to a plan, but not being inflexible. You know, kinda like the President. Yeah, like that.


  1. Hi Melissa, your second bullet point is so crucial. For instance, my creative time is in the mornings. After dinner I can respond to emails and review things, but the closer it gets to bedtime, the less creative I am and the harder it is to write anything coherent or interesting.

    -- Anita

  2. Working on a computer is a blessing and a curse in many ways. I often find that I need to unplug my wireless card so that I can't get distracted by anything personal while I work.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Now Trending

Around this time, every year, I spot trends among my small business clients. Of course, there are those who are always late to the tax...