Since starting my business as a virtual assistant and working from home, I’ve realised that running a business can be stressful and all consuming.
The boundaries between work and play can feel non-existent so it’s even more important to make sure you get the right work/life balance. Especially since, being a mum of two children, that was one of the main reasons for starting my own business in the first place. Making sure you set boundaries when working is key.
Create a designated work-space
It’s important to have a clear space for you to work when working from home. Once you’ve ‘commuted’ from the bedroom to your work-space, you’ve essentially arrived at work so you need to have a comfortable, well-equipped space to enable you to focus on your tasks for that day.
Set working hours
Schedule your day. Being your own boss is great because you can decide if you want to work 10:00am-4:00pm (or more likely 7:00am-7:00pm), but it can help to decide the hours that you’re going to work and stick to them. Of course, there may be days when you need to start earlier or finish later than planned but where possible try and stick to set hours as I find it helps to keep you focused. Working in the evenings is also inevitable when you run your own business, try to set certain evenings when you work and keep some evenings free, if possible – for your own sanity!
Take regular breaks from the screen
It’s easy to just keep tapping away on your laptop and forget about taking a break when you work from home. I know when I was working as an EA in an office there were always many distractions throughout the day, from guests arriving to colleagues asking for help, so you naturally had breaks from the screen. The beauty of working from home means you can take 10 mins away from the screen and seize the daylight! Have a cuppa in the garden, a walk round the park or pop to the library. City workers rarely enjoy such freedom so value it, and use it.
Step away from the housework
As tempting as it can be, the housework is best left until the evening or weekends, as it would be if you were commuting to an office. Limit your visits to the washing basket, dishwasher and step away from that Dyson.
Work out when you work best
I’m much more of a morning person so I find that’s the time when I am most productive. Work out which tasks you simply must get done that day and schedule those in to your day at the time when you know you work best.
No matter how big or small, it’s important to set goals, both short term and long term. The former will help you stay focused on achievable targets and help pay the bills, the latter will help you feel that you’re getting somewhere and that the years don’t just pass by without any noticeable improvement or achievement.
Work can become a treadmill if you don’t just take a break, it’s really important to still plan your weeks away and spend time with your family. So, get packing that suitcase and enjoy!
Learn to switch off at weekends
Even though you work from home and it’s so incredibly easy for the working week and weekend to blur into one, try and protect your weekends and keep them work free, if you can. Otherwise you’re no better off than the small-hours commuters or shift-workers.
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to run my business Miss VirtualEA from home but I’ve discovered that getting the right work/life balance is really important. I’ve found that the above simple steps can make a real difference.
If you also run your business from home, and need a virtual executive assistant (also known as a virtual assistant, virtual PA, virtual secretary, virtual admin), to assist with any tasks or projects and help you achieve your desired work/life balance, please send me a message here.