One important aspect to working from home is setting a schedule while learning to keep work and personal life separate. This is especially true if you are working at home so that you can raise your own child, instead of shipping them off to daycare.
To keep work where it belongs (in your home office) set up your office in a way that ensures you have enough space to efficiently handle your operations. You will still have to learn how to manage your time though because the most well set up home office is still not going to produce income if you don’t manage your time. Later I’ll cover time management principles in depth, but for now remember is that your business is only going to be successful if you are able to keep your work and personal life separate.
Think of it this way: if you held a traditional job, you would only spend lunch time taking care of personal business. If there are errands to run you would either do them before or after work. You would not drop your work and start doing a load of laundry in the break room. You don’t sit on the phone talking to friends and family at a traditional job. You don’t run to the hairdresser mid-morning and leave your work undone.
Your home business is your job whether you are doing it full or part time. Schedules need to be set and adhered to in order to ensure you spend the right amount of time on your business without being distracted by the personal surroundings you have in a home. You may be thinking, “Where does the freedom of being an entrepreneur begin if I have to follow a schedule?”
The freedom is in the options you have!
For example, when you are working in an office for a corporation, your supervisor determines your hours. You are told when to be at work and when you can leave. Even if you are an executive, there are expectations as to when you are supposed to be in the office.
When you own a home based business, you can set a schedule, but you can determine your hours. For example, you may like to start work at 9 AM instead of 8 a.m. You may prefer to work evenings instead of mornings. One of the main influences on when you need to work is the type of home based business you are operating. If you are selling products that appeal to the stay-at-home moms, then you can work during the day. If you are selling products or services to people who work in offices, you will probably have to work some evening hours in order to make contacts.
One of the reasons home businesses fail is because there is no time schedule set. If you say you are going to work your business from 9AM until 5PM everyday, then you need to be at your home office desk working by 9 a.m.
You also should set a schedule which accommodates the many tasks associated with operating a home business. It is so easy to spend a lot of time on important functions such as bookkeeping, but while you are posting expenses, you are not selling. So your schedule should address how much time you need to spend on contacting customers and how much time will be needed for office maintenance tasks.
As will be discussed more thoroughly under time management, the most important step you can take to be a better manager in your home business is to keep your business and personal office activities separate.
By the way, it is highly recommended by the experts that you dress appropriately for work. You do not have to wear a dress or a suit and tie, but on the other hand, you should not wear pajamas either. It is much easier to treat a business professionally if you treat it like a real job.