For pretty much all home-based businesses in the market today, the computer and the Internet, as well as the telephone, are crucial, and, depending on how they are used, can add to its success or to its failure.
Whether you work outside your home or run a home-based business, there is always that temptation to check your email, chat with friends, play games, or surf the net whenever you are not busy. And these temptations are very hard to fight.
Home-based businesses have even more temptations, personal errands, shopping, laundry, cleaning, etc., because after all you are “at home”.
It is therefore important to add structure from the very beginning to reduce the temptation to get involved in non-business matters during your business hours.
A few things that may help:
- Set up separate email accounts and instant messenger accounts that are dedicated just to your business, and only have these active throughout your business day.
- Get in the habit early on that using your web browser during your business hours is only for activities involving your business.
- Have a dedicated telephone number and/or cell phone for your business and have only these accessible to you in your workspace. Let your family and friends know that they are for business purposes, and they are to be used by them only in an emergency.
- Try to resist answering your home phone or personal cell phone during business hours. Let the calls go to voicemail. Better yet, turn down the ring so you can’t hear it. And again remind your family and friends that during certain hours of the day you are “at work” and not available for personal matters that are not urgent.
- Discourage your family and friends from “dropping by” throughout your business day. They certainly wouldn’t do that if you worked outside your home.
- Leave all personal and domestic tasks such as errands, laundry and cleaning to when you are “off work”. If you worked outside your home you would have to schedule these in anyway, right?
And just like there is temptation to “play” when you are “at work”, there is also the temptation to “work” when you should be “at play”.
When you have ended your business day, sign off all business accounts and leave them signed off until the next business day. Open up your personal accounts and catch up with your friends and family, surf the net, play games, etc. You are done work for the day and now it is your time.