Reduce home interfering with business
by Tash Hughes
of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com)
Of course, one
of the advantages of working form home is that you can
get bits and pieces of personal stuff done during your
However, it is
easy for personal things to get in the way of productive
work time unless you take control. Here are some simple
means of working effectively from home.
Separate your work
area from your living area
as much as possible. Different rooms are ideal so you
can shut the door between personal and business, but
there are other ways to manage this.
Set yourself some
working hours and stick to them. You can publish
these hours on your website, in your newsletter, on a
sign at the door, in your email signature or even on
your business card. During business hours, answer the
phone with a business greeting and don’t chat with
Set up filters in your
email boxes so that personal emails are left until after
business hours. This is easier done if you have
different email addresses for personal and business use.
Consider a separate
phone line for business. If that’s not an option,
consider using your mobile as a business line, get a
second ring on the phone, use your answering machine to
screen calls or use a phone answering service. Thus, you
can ignore personal calls in business hours and business
calls in personal hours. By collecting messages and
returning calls at your convenience, you have more
effective control of your time as well.
Consider getting drinks
and snacks as quick tasks – don’t let yourself tidy the
kitchen for half an hour every time you’re thirsty. If
you are prone to doing other things when you leave your
work space, take a jug of water and some fruit with you
to your desk in the morning so you have less reason to
Make a ‘do not
disturb’ sign for your
office or front door so that people can clearly see you
are at work. If you want to know who has visited, leave
a notepad and pencil stuck to the door frame so they can
leave you messages. If you expect business callers, your
sign may be worded like “We are currently working.
Please knock only if you are here on business matters.”
Learn to say no to
friends and family, and don’t feel guilty about it.
Teach them that your business is as valid and important
as if you were working for someone else in an office
somewhere. It just takes a friendly response like
“Thanks for calling Sue. I will finish work at 3, so how
about I call you back then?”
someone to clean your house.
Not only will it save you time, a clean house is less
distracting as you work. If the house is actually
cleaned as you work, you will have more reason to work
and a sense of getting two jobs done at once!
If you have school
children, see if there is someone who could walk them
home for you – maybe an older child or another parent
who walks past your house anyway. Or take turns with
other parents to pick the children up. This can give you
an extra 20 or 30 minutes to work in.
Keep household papers
away from your desk if possible, or at least in a
separate folder or pile. When you are working, you don’t
want to be paying personal bills or search through the
bills and school notices for a client’s paperwork.
Tash Hughes is
the owner of
Word Constructions and is available to solve all
your business writing problems! From letters to
policies, newsletters to web content, Word Constructions
writes all business documents to your style and