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Balancing Work and Home Life

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Business Craft Crafts Working At Home

When you’re running a craft business from home, you’ll need to learn to balance work and home life.

Working at home is an increasingly popular choice amongst small business owners and can work at very well. But it can take a bit of adjustment running a crafts business from home, not least as there are many potential distractions in your working environment, and it’s important to try and work at striking a balance with your work and home life.

When you’ve got a home office, it’s very easy to slip back in to check email or sort out orders when you’re supposed to relaxing, plus your work space can mingle with your relaxation space, so it’s important to keep on top of these issues before work starts taking over your life.

Developing Work Hours and Sticking to Them

It’s easy to get carried away and work long hours when you’re working from home, as your office is on site and you think you’re making the most of the time. But it’s not good for your health, or the life of your partner or family, if you work excessively long hours. Instead, it’s a good idea to develop work hours and learn to stick to them, as early on as possible.

It’s understandable that you may have to work longer hours sometimes, especially when you’re establishing a craft business from scratch, but try not to be lured into the trap of letting this continue. Everyone needs a break from work and it’s only fair on friends, family and children to have one. You can help yourself by letting everyone know when your work hours are, so you don’t suffer from interruptions.

Clearly Define Work and Living Areas

Work and home life balance issues can often occur when you haven’t clearly defined the areas of your home that you’re using for working and living. Although it can be tempting to work from wherever you feel like in the home (and laptops make this easier), in general it’s beneficial to work at clearly defining your space.

This means working out which room or area of the house is essentially your home office and separating it from the rest of the house. If you’ve got a whole room dedicated to being an office, then it’s easier, as you can just shut the door when you’re working or when you leave the office and finish work. It’s not so easy if you’re using one end or part of a room for work, but items such as fold-up screens can be utilised to segregate off the working area.

Defining your work space from your living space is useful for letting people know when you’re working, but it also helps you switch off better when you’re not working.

Work Mode Versus Home Mode

When you’re working at home, there are inevitable distractions and interruptions, especially with other people living in the household. But if you want to get things done effectively and avoid being interrupted, it’s good to stick to only working during your work hours.

This means avoiding having people around for cups of tea, or letting your children know that during your work hours you will be working. Although it can seem a bit harsh, if you’re going to work successfully at home, you need to be able to get on with it. The clearer you are about your plans and when you’re in work mode, the better it will be in the long run.

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