So you've built your fledgling work-at-home mom Internet business into an expanding online powerhouse? Congratulations! Building up any kind of online business or freelance career can be very challenging. Work-at-home moms who have successfully ramped up their businesses have a lot to be proud of. At the same time, you may still deal with some other kinds of work related challenges. One of those is making sure that your business doesn't become 100% of your life. After all, your family needs you as well. Experts on self-employment and telecommuting recommend using some basic strategies and guidelines in order to stop your career from taking over your entire lifestyle.
Create a Work Schedule
Having specific work hours is always important. However, it's
something that telecommuters often start to neglect. Initially, there
are a lot of positives in being able to "make your own hours" but
without some kind of concrete schedule, all kinds of problems can
emerge, including situations where industrious moms push work back
continually, ruining both work schedules and family time designations in
the process. Try to make a concrete work day and stick to it.
Avoid Constant Updates
Another very common challenge is related to those personal devices
that everyone's trying to sell you these days. It can be great to have
more functionality built into your smart phone, but if you're always
checking e-mail, always updating online networking sites, or even
checking your investments, your family time might suffer. Think about
turning off that pager, iPhone or Blackberry for a few hours each day,
and consider how the intrusion of off-hours updating affects your home
Plan Family Activities
Another trap that busy work at home moms get stuck in is the
"default" work setting. When there's nothing else going on, it's easy to
hole up in the office and forget about everything else. Try to schedule
family "outings" on a regular basis. This will get you much needed
breaks from your work, while enriching your family life by finding
activities that everyone can enjoy together.
Get Three Squares a Day
Another big challenge for work at home moms is meals. That's partly because tradition often mandates that mom is responsible for making all of that food when the family sits down to the table. Making family meals, and family meal times, can require a huge amount of creativity, time management and compromise. Try to get as many family members as possible into the act, and make time to eat well. Anything else ruins your work-life balance and affects your health.
These are just a few of the basic guidelines that many work at home moms follow when they are trying to keep their business goals in line while managing a family at the same time. Those with experience in "work-life coaching" often stress solid boundaries, intense planning and scheduling, and communication between family members, as well as creativity and adaptable time management. Going the distance with your Internet business doesn't have to take an excessive toll on your family life, but without some attention to detail, that's what often happens. Take time to put rules in place, and you'll have a better chance at succeeding in both work and family life.