Is it possible to separate work and play when you run a small business from home?

Running a business from home can be great. You don’t have to face the daily commute to and from the office anymore, you don’t have to stick to a formal uniform, and you can take your breaks as and when you please. However, many of us will begin to struggle a few weeks in, as we attempt to balance and separate work from play. If you don’t have sufficient self-control, you can easily start to fall behind on deadlines and your overall workload. If you are a work-a-holic, you can see your work taking over your entire life, working around the clock and barely giving yourself a break. So, where do you draw the line? Is it possible to separate work and play when you run your entire business from home? The simple answer is yes. Here are a few ways to ensure that you create a positive work-home balance without one factor imposing on the other.

Create a designated workspace

Sure, it’s tempting to complete all of your work from your laptop in your bed. But is it really going to be of the best quality if you undertake it in these conditions? While you may not have to make things as formal as you would in an office, you should still create a designated workspace in your home. Use one room or part of a room as an office. You should have a desk and comfortable seat. Drawers are ideal for storage of supplies (meaning you no longer have an excuse to wander around the house in search of a pen, tape, or paperclips). Try to keep things light and airy too, as natural light is proven to enhance your health and overall productivity.

Store stock and documents elsewhere

If you deal in retail goods rather than services, you may find that your home starts to resemble an extensive stock room. This isn’t ideal. After all, once you’ve finished your day’s work, you don’t want to be climbing over your goods and wares to make your way from room to room. You may also find that your work documents and personal documents begin to meld into one big pile of files and paperwork. Again, you want to avoid this. You need to be able to find exactly what you want when you need it. Sifting through piles of letters, statements, and other forms of documentation will simply waste your time. So, consider storing your work stock and business documents outside of your home. When it comes to goods, local self storage is the best option. You will have your own space within the facilities to keep your wares, and you will be able to access them as and when you please. When it comes to paperwork, you may require more regular and short notice access to files. So consider virtual cloud storage. Nowadays, everything can be scanned and uploaded to the cloud in neat, organised folders.

Stick to a timetable

Perhaps most importantly, create a work timetable for yourself. Get up and showered at a reasonable time, just as you would for a normal job, and get stuck in. This will prevent you from working through the night to hit deadlines. It also means that you allow yourself sufficient time to relax and recuperate from one day’s workload and the next.

As you can see, it is entirely possible to separate work and play. You just have to impose a certain level of self-restraint and allow yourself distinct spaces for professional pursuits and personal leisure activities.

*This is a contributed post

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