As layoffs spread through my office, I try to keep a positive outlook by working from home at least once a week. But it's been difficult. Sometimes my dog often barks while I'm on a business call. Not very professional. Next, my car in the driveway seems to be a sign to my neighbors to drop by and chat. Worse, I feel guilty about the unwashed dishes, dirty laundry or the clutter that needs to be put away while I force myself to sit in front of the computer. And then I feel guilty when I do get distracted and try to make up for it by working into the evening.
So, I found the conversation sparked by Dave Navarro, a business productivity coach, on his Freelancefolder blog hit home. It's particularly timely as laid off workers consider some type of work from home arrangement. Navarro asks freelancers and entrepreneurs to share their biggest secret to work-life balance success.
Here are some responses:
- Lois K writes: I set a schedule and stick to it. I treat my freelancing as a regular job with regular hours. I have been known to do overtime, but at least stay with the schedule for minimums. I also let my family know my schedule.
- Allena T writes: My secret: I refuse to multi task. Work time is work time and family time is family time, and never the two shall meet.
- Jeff Zbar, author of TheChiefHomeOfficer blog, writes: With three grade-school kids about, it’s a moving target. But a routine (albeit flexible) helps. So does understanding from those around you (including you) that sometimes you have to punt. And sequester yourself until a deadline is met. And reward yourself for a job well done. And do it again. And again. Until you retire. In 2028…
All those secrets for success sound good to me. But I wonder...is the discipline for working from home perfected over time or is it something you need from day one? Are some people just not cut out for working from home? Do YOU have any secrets for work/life balance success to share with those now considering working from home?