Home Business Help – The Importance of Time Off

Make sure you balance work and play – take at least one day off a week
Part OneWe have advised people who have a home-based business about organizing their time and space efficiently for maximum use of work time. But there is another factor to be considered, and one that also needs some organizing.To begin with, let’s consider this question: Is it better for a slave to have another master, or to be his/her own master? Answer: It’s a trick question. No one wants to be a slave at all! Please don’t let the fact that you have a home-based business turn you into one.You are already well aware of the down-side of working for someone else at a remote work site. That is why you originally got a home business idea. But now that you are working at home do you sometimes have a feeling of nostalgia for the days when you knew you were at work because you were THERE and knew when you were off-work because you were HOME? Do you get the feeling that whenever you read to your child, or take time to make a pie for your family, or read a book or watch a TV program that you should be working instead? Do you get a nagging feeling of guilt whenever you take time for yourself, or even sleep, that you are losing time from the business?Do you feel pulled into several different directions with each part of your life – family, leisure, creativity, business, spirituality – all pulling at you and demanding that you stop one and do the other? When people get into this kind of dynamic they get to feeling that no matter what they are doing, they should be doing something else. This is a terrible state of affairs, and not what you wanted from your home-based business. If working at home is decreasing, instead of increasing, your peace of mind it is not working for you as it should. Stop creating a new rat race for yourself in which all the rats are you – you can’t win!Once again, a little organizing out of your own experience will solve this problem. After you have worked at your home-based business for a while – say two to three weeks – sit down and take a few minutes to review how long it takes you to do the tasks involved carrying out your business plan. Decide what is the best time of day for you to spend that amount of time. Be absolutely religious about planning in AT LEAST one day TOTALLY OFF per week. Then resolve to spend that amount of time each working day on your business and NO MORE!Yes, we can hear your objections – one of the major points of working from home is the ability to be flexible about time. Yes – and this may sound contradictory at first – it is sometimes necessary to PLAN for flexibility and spontaneity! If something comes up with the family that you want to take advantage of – scrap Plan A for that working day and go to Plan B. Or C. But chances are that if you have no plan at all you will fall into the trap of having no balance at all – it will be all work or all play all the time. Not good.The amount of planning you need to do – and the care with which you need to stick to it – will depend in part on your personality. Being your own boss requires that you get to know yourself very well. Are you the type that will goof off whenever possible and look for any excuse to get away from the computer? (Come one, be honest!) Or are you the type that is driven to work every single minute and resents any “interruptions?” You can see where these questions are going. Learn about yourself and your loved ones and what balance of work and play will maximize your enjoyment of life and make that the essence of your plan.Remember too, that as your business grows you will probably need to revise your plan. If you have been honest with yourself, and have tuned in to signals from the people who matter most to you all along, you will know when it is time to do that.In part two we will explore some ideas that can help you relax and enjoy life as an owner in your home business. You can do it.