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Life Balance: Balancing Your Home and Office Life
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When my older son was in grade school and they held career day, he told his class all about his dad’s career. When he described me, he said that I didn’t do anything.

At first I was hurt, then I realized he answered that way because he rarely saw me work. The only time I worked was when he and his brother were asleep, with a sitter, or at school.

Now that my sons are older and don’t need me as much—they get better grades when I don’t help them with math—my challenge is to stop working so much.  For years, I’ve recommended a few strategies to my clients for balancing their home and office life, and now I’m taking my own advice.

Make regular dates with your family. Schedule a weekday afternoon or an evening to spend with your family, or designate a weekend night as movie night. My neighbor used to hold “Smith family movie night” on Friday nights. The trick was to find a movie everyone wanted to see and one that was appropriate.

Schedule mini-vacations. When my family and I went on spring break a few weeks ago, I was able to stay in touch with my clients and still enjoy some time away from my home office. If it’s too hard to get away from work for longer than a week, take a three-day or a four-day weekend vacation with your family.  You’ll get away from your office, yet you won’t be away so long that it will take weeks to catch up.

Share a hobby or sport with someone else, and promise to maintain it. Built-in pressure from someone close to you ensures that you’ll exercise regularly, stick with a new hobby for longer than a month, and meet your goals.

Be willing to pay for free time. If you can find someone to take care of things you’d rather not do and there’s someone who could do them better and faster, hire him or her immediately. If you compared how long it would take you to do something vs. the amount of time you could spend with your family, you’d see that it’s worth paying for free time. Virtual assistant businesses are growing quickly because small business owners can pay for the help they need but do not have to hire a full-time employee.

Balancing your home and office life, especially when they’re in the same place, can be challenging. By taking the time to schedule time away from your home office, you’ll have more time to spend with your family, which may be one of the main reasons you work for yourself.

Lisa KanarekFounder, Working Naked
Lisa is founder of Working Naked, a website that helps small business learn various aspects of working from home through “how-to” articles, videos and product reviews. She is the author of five books and has been a guest on Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, and Public Radio’s Marketplace.
www.workingnaked.com | Facebook | @workingnaked | More from Lisa

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Discussion (5) Comment


  1. sheikhVisitor

    Dear Lisa

    Thanks for sharing very useful and practical tips for life balancing. Physical ,Mental and financial balance all are equally important. I am happy to talk to you .

    all the best have a nice day
    sheikh


  2. Suerae SteinVisitor

    These are some great tips, Lisa! One of the first things I did, when I was able to earn some money from working at home was to hire a cleaning person every other week. That took so much pressure off me and seemed to add so much time to my week! That’s my way of “paying for free time!” Thank you for sharing! ~ Suerae


  3. EliseVisitor

    “Be willing to pay for free time”…..Yes, I couldn’t agree more! It is worth every cent :)


  4. Michael KeyesVisitor

    Lisa, I am very bad about this. I get so consumed with business I don’t balance near enough family time. These kinds of post are necessary to remind us how important that is. Thanks


  5. ConnieVisitor

    Lisa I can really identify with your post. After years of being the primary support for my family, we relocated west so that my husband would have a better job opportunity in natural resources. When my new “sunset position” ended, I began working from home, while my husband continued to advance in his government resources position. My two teenage daughters did not consider that I had a job any longer; since I didn’t leave the house for work and didn’t earn a regular paycheck. Now that my business is finally showing a financial return, one of the hardest things to do is stay on task and produce for my clinets, while still accomplishing a majority of the home duties that my family expects of me since I am already there!

 

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