Working from home is undoubtedly one of the best things to have happened to me.
It is a lifestyle that suits my personality and my professional ambitions perfectly while allowing me to manage our home and raise our daughter just the way I envisioned.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
At the same time, honestly, working from home can be quite the challenge.
It is filled with distractions mingling with deadlines and marketing plans getting mixed up with menu planning.
Yes, it is where you’ll find yourself talking to a client and trying to get your two-year-old to turn down the television. Which of course, she doesn’t want to do.
It is where you ignore that pile of laundry looking at you witheringly and try to focus on that pile of work waiting to be done instead.
It is where friends think you’re constantly on Facebook, so of course, you are free to watch their kids or for a chat or coffee without any notice.
Yes, a juggling act indeed.
How does one streamline it?
Breathe some sanity into it so that it really is a blessing and not a curse to your time management?
Considering that I’ve worked from home for 9 years now, there are 5 things I’d advise every work-at-home entrepreneur to NOT do.
Yes, don’t do these 5 things when working from home and you’ll enjoy greater productivity and peace-of-mind.
1. Say “Yes” Instantly
Saying “yes” instantly to pretty much everything used to be my nemesis.
I’d say “yes” to all the demands on my time and then, run myself and my family into the ground trying to fulfill them all. Crazy, huh?
If you’re struggling with all the to-do and to-be lists, you need to pay attention to this.
Now, if anyone asks me to do something or be somewhere I say, “I’ll think about it.”
See, the thing is it’s tough for me to say “no” outright. If you can say “No, thank you” right off the bat, kudos to you. But if you’re like me, say “Thanks, but let me think about it and get back to you.”
2. Keep Everything in Your Head
Tell me if you’ve ever thought you’d remember something only to forget what that something was… You have, right?
You aren’t alone.
We’ve all done this at some time or the other, and the fact is that mommy brain isn’t just for new moms.
There’s something to be said for entrepreneurial brain too!
So, stop trying to keep everything in your head.
Instead, write it down.
Whether you use a planner, a printable to-do list, a digital app, it’s up to you.
Bottom line: Get things out of your head and onto paper 😉
3. Forget Your Why
Why did YOU start working from home?
For me, it was simple. I needed the creative stimulation and grown-up conversation without leaving Manini in daycare or with a nanny.
That was my why.
Now that she’s older, my why is still about spending time with her and also, focusing on building a business that supports our family while staying consistent with our values.
Knowing your why will help you accept or turn down opportunities.
Knowing your why will keep you motivated, inspired and encouraged when the days are rough and the work seems unending. Because there will be days like that.
Knowing your why will give you the clarity you need when connecting with people online and offline.
So, keep your why front and center.
4. Think that Facebook/Pinterest/IG is YOUR Business
Okay, let’s be honest here… how many hours a day do you spend on social media?
Social media is NOT your business.
Your business is:
making scrumptious cakes,
helping new moms find the perfect cloth diaper,
crafting gorgeous handmade soaps,
showcasing your art
Your business is not to be on social media all.the.time.
Yes, social media IS important for sharing what you do and for connecting with your community but it is just one piece of the larger business pie. Don’t make social media the pie itself.
I know that many entrepreneurs who work from home get sucked into scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or lately, stories and FB lives!
That’s okay as long as it is helping you build your business or if you do it during a designated “let’s faff around on FB” time.
If not, then, you need to stop being on social media all.the.time.
Set up systems to help support your presence. Use tools smartly. Hire help, if you have to.
Stay social. Just don’t stay on social media when you should be building your business instead.
Try to Do Everything… Yourself
Are you doing this?
Trying to be superwoman?
I did it too.
So, I know that it’s something that sometimes you just can’t help. I always feel I can do things better, faster, smarter. 😉
However, the fact is, I have 24 hours in a day, same as you.
Fact is, my why includes being there for my daughter and not saying, “Mamma has to work” all the time. I say it, but I don’t like to do it all the time.
Fact is I chose this lifestyle and it wasn’t the other way round. 😉
So, if you want to make work-life balance happen, you have to make it happen. Makes sense?
Yes, you have to ask for help when you need it.
You have to seek support.
You have to drop doing certain things.
You have to delegate others.
You have to make space in your schedule for what truly matters to you.
Giving control to others may not always be easy, and it may not even be the best, but it is definitely a smart way to free up your time and succeed on the work and home fronts.
So, are you doing any of these 5 things while working from home? 😉
‘Fess up and share with me in the comments!