Feeling overwhelmed and stressed by your home-based business? If you are new to having a business office at home, it’s vital to understand that the productivity practices you may have followed in the corporate or retail world with your former job just don’t cut it when you’re at home all day, with family and business demands around-the-clock. Here’s how to get things going in a healthy, low-stress way, culled from my over thirty years’ of owning and operating businesses based at home.
- Set up a separate office area for your new business or venture. Even if the only thing you do is create a screen by stapling fabric to stretcher bars from the arts and crafts store, hide that desk from view once you are on family or personal time. Otherwise, the mental separation between business and home life can be difficult to establish. At first it will probably seem harmless to have your business sprawl all over your living space, but you’ll soon feel like you just can’t get away from office work the way you could when you got up from a desk or closed your locker at work and waved goodbye to everyone, heading home for some down-time. Even if you occasionally have projects that require you to work longer hours, make sure to keep that dividing line between office and home, particularly if you have set up your work area in the bedroom. When you are wishing to relax at the end of the day, the worst thing to have in front of you is a pile of work that seems to scream at you and criticize you for not working hard enough.
- Schedule your day. Get an agenda or appointment book that is big enough to write activities for both your home and business. It can be tempting to have separate books, one for personal appointments and one for the business, but in my experience, at least, it can become easy to overlook a conflict in your schedule or to inadvertently miss an important meeting. If you use a smart phone or tablet, you may wish to use an online calendar that will keep all your devices up to date. But otherwise, the old-fashioned way of writing in a daily/monthly appointment book will work great. Block out time for working on projects at your desk or in the field, depending on what type of business you have. Avoid the common mistake of thinking that you’ll “find time for what’s important”—time has a mysterious way of vanishing and the hours quickly fill up with minor tasks so that more important work gets shoved off to another day. Post a wall calendar each month that contains daily squares that are large enough for all family members to jot their major activities, so you don’t inadvertently overlook something crucial when you’re making your business appointments. This might seem like an obvious tip, but when you start feeling pulled by the demands of living in your office and having an office in your living space, you’ll find detailed schedules will help keep you sane.
- Get in the habit of separating the chores related to business from the tasks of housekeeping. It takes discipline to do this, but it can be done, and you’ll find more harmony in all areas of your life when you create this kind of balance. Decide each weekend what the most important projects in the coming workdays will be, both for your business success and your happy family. Being super-organized about what your commitments are to both home and business will serve you well in the long-run. It can be very tempting to go from your office area to the kitchen to do a few chores or whisk up a batch of brownies, then rush back to your desk to dash off some emails or make a few calls, but scattered focus will not serve you well. You’ll feel exhausted and resentful, as if your day has no end. Learn how to close your office area down in the evening and whatever hours on the weekend you have decided are for personal activities. A home-based business can become an octopus with its tentacles creeping into every minute of your day if you allow it. Remind yourself that when you were away at a job outside the home, you didn’t interrupt your focus on a project to go do laundry, or see what’s happening on your favorite soap opera. Continue a business-like attitude toward your new home-based operations, and you’ll feel more professional.
- If your business is brand new, decide in advance how many hours you want to devote to the business itself, and keep that commitment, changing it only as you want to, and not because the whole thing has gotten out of hand and demands more of your time than you planned to give it. Keep track of your work hours, so that you can see if you are interrupting business time with snacks, chores, TV, and inadvertently making your business day seem inflated.
- If you have a business partner, such as a roommate or spouse, discuss these productivity tips together, and make decisions as a team about how many hours each of you will devote daily to the projects and tasks each of you are handling. An imbalance in workload breeds resentments and strife. In addition, if one person feels that business calls and needs trump personal life every time, it’s better to find that out up front, and decide on a plan of action. Without a plan in place, it’s all too easy for you to become a slave to a growing business’s incessant demands for 24/7 attention. You may need to compromise on issues such as when do you stop answering the business line in the evening, and start again in the morning. What do you do when clients call at dinner time. These and similar issues sound like they will not be a problem, when they haven’t happened yet, but when clients habitually phone after regular office hours because now they are home from their own office job, you need a plan in place of whether you ignore calls, screen them via voice mail and only return the most important, or whether you take the calls no matter what time of day or day of the week it is.
- As soon as your budget allows, have a separate phone for your business. You might want to have a smart phone so that as your business grows, you can communicate easily via text messages, and manage your email communications while out of the office. It will give you freedom to be able to pick up the kids from school, go to the bank and post office, take care of personal and business errands, while remaining in contact with clients, customers and any business partners you may have. With a separate business phone, you can put that in the charger on silent mode during your downtime so you aren’t leaping to respond every time it rings.
A home-based business offers many advantages, including being home for children and pets, and enjoying your home environment without the added expense of a separate office location. Become the master of your business, no matter where it is located, and it will serve you well.
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Small business owners worry how they are going to meet payroll and vendor bills, parents worry how they will afford their kids’ education or their own retirement, entrepreneurs worry how they will replace their previous income while building their new business, and everybody seems to be worrying how to enjoy life when they can’t seem to reach their money goals.
Chronic stress affects everything in your life: your relationships, your job satisfaction, your health, and your sense of personal fulfillment. It’s important to find ways to get your stress level down to a manageable level, but usually when someone is filled with anxiety, and the bills are piling up, it can be hard to consider that relief could be just a thought away. However, that is true, and the reason is that we become what we think about. The more you think about your money worries, the more worries will flood to you, because they are in harmony with whatever your focus of attention is, and you attract more of the same.
There’s a way out, and it’s a simple three-step process that you can practice right now, use as often as you’d like, and share with family and friends. Here’s what you do:
1. Breathe in slowly through your nose to the silent count of four, then hold your breath to the count of four, and slowly exhale through your mouth to the count of four. Your stress hormones will settle down instead of firing up even more panic. Repeat a few times until you feel a bit calmer. Understand what you are seeking is a sense of relief so that your mind is open to the next step in this process.
2. Bring to mind the outcome that you desire. Perhaps there is a specific amount of money that would bring great relief to you at this time. Imagine how it would feel if that money was in your bank account, and that even after paying the bills, there would be a delightful surplus of funds available to you. How would it feel? Did your shoulders just drop a little? Maybe you didn’t even realize how tensed you’ve been, and how tightly you’ve been holding your body. Shake your arms, wriggle around, signal your body and mind that change is coming. Keep that feeling of relief in your thoughts and bask in how wonderful it feels now the money stress has vanished.
3. While holding that feeling of relief, and visualizing yourself smiling at your employees or coworkers and enjoying a few high-fives because you have turned a financial corner, consider an action step you can take in the next five minutes that will lead you toward your success. It might be making a phone call you’ve been putting off because it felt uncomfortable and you worried how the other person would react to you. Go do it now. Successful people make it a habit to do the things they know must be done, even when they don’t really want to do those things. They put the success of the business or project first, and step into the required action. That means, whatever is on your list that you’ve been avoiding even though you know it’s important, contains the seeds to the success and money freedom you desire. But nothing will happen if the bright ideas just stay on paper and never see the light of day.
When you are stuck in a worry and stress mode, that zone of fear will keep you paralyzed. Use the three steps above, take an action, keep visualizing your success and feel it as being real. Think of what you want, not what you don’t want. That’s the key to changing your results.
Any season is the perfect season for getting rid of excess of all kinds in our lives. This is also a healthy and useful practice for parents to teach their children because it will become a habit that serves them well throughout life. Where do you and your family tend to build up clutter? Here are some common areas: read more
If you stop and think about it for a moment, my guess is that you’ll recognize a pattern to the stress you commonly experience. Just as we have individual thumbprints, we also have stress-prints that seem to stay with us year after year. After all, most of us learned how to react to life in childhood and we picked up various coping tools along the way — some of these tools remain useful to us (for example, if you gained a habit of taking time for quiet prayer and reflection when feeling stressed and anxious) but many of the tools actually harm us rather than helping! You know what some of those harmful things are: eating to try to relieve the knot in your stomach, smoking, drinking to excess, shopping for that high feeling that seems to chase the blues momentarily.
So let’s take a look at what your Stress Triggers are! When we take time to identify what we’re doing instead of mindlessly reacting in a knee-jerk automatic response to life’s events, we have a much better chance to make conscious decisions and better choices. And that’s the key to getting on the path of happiness, success, prosperity and wellness!
Leave a comment below and let’s see what the most common Stress Triggers are. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Bills need to be paid
- It’s time for in-laws to visit
- Neighbors are complaining again about something they want you to fix/repair/paint
- Boss demands overtime or extra work — again
- A friend seems to get everything you want, and it’s hard not to be envious and grudging about their good luck
- You’ve been invited to a special event but your special occasion clothes don’t fit and/or are hopelessly out-of-date, yet you don’t have money freedom to buy new… and you’re stressing how to turn down the invitation without admitting the truth
- Yet another argument about the same old thing with your spouse/mate/kids
- Health problems that keep popping up as soon — as you feel you deal with one, there’s something new to plague you
- Your doctor said you need to quit smoking, go on a diet, exercise more — and you feel like a scolded child
- Each morning, you wake up feeling more tired and drained than when you went to bed
- You don’t want to label it “depression” but you’ve lost your enthusiasm for life and can’t help wondering if this is as good as it gets
All stress triggers have something in common — it’s a situation we don’t want!
to your health and happiness,
Free teleclass to help victims of Hurricane Sandy (aka Tropical Storm Sandy) start recovering emotionally from all the stress, anxiety and devastation they’ve experienced. By the way, you can register on this page for the GIFT PACKAGE I promised during the teleclass – I had originally planned to have a special registration page for people to sign in for the free class, but decided right after recording it that I would make it a no-optin class! SO if you do want the stress reduction gifts, please sign in below and you’ll get the link right away.
Please help me spread the word so I can help thousands of people reduce the stress they’re going through.
This is for ANYONE who is going through a storm in your life — an exterior storm that has caused havoc and destruction in your life — or a storm of your heart such as divorce, a medical challenge, the loss of a loved one or any other catastrophe that you need help healing from
There are 2 ways to listen to the “Stress Relief for Sandy Victims” teleclass:
1. Listen below at the media bar — you can also download the MP3 from this page to load onto your MP3 player
2. Go to my iTunes Podcast Show and listen in the iTunes store — you can download it free from iTunes! And while you are there, please give me a 5-Star Rating! It will help other people find my “Born to Triumph Show.”
Subscribe to my podcast series and get instant updates whenever I post a new show episode. The topics change each time, but will always contain information and techniques you can put into practice today to help improve your life.
In my radio podcast show, the topics will be different in each episode, but the one thing they will always have in common is that I’ll be helping YOU start living your greatness in every area of your life – personal growth, relationships, attracting love, health, wealth, success and happiness!
Here are the points I cover in the 1-hour teleclass “Stress Relief for Sandy Victims”:
- Quick way to start celebrating your life again
- How to let go of the stress, anxiety and panic you are feeling (first thing: learn how to breathe in a way that calms your nervous system instead of agitating it even more)
- A new kind of gratitude list — designed for people who feel they have lost everything important to them
- “Visioneering” mini-workshop — I take you through an exercise to learn how to envision the life you’d love to be enjoying six months from now, in all areas: relationships, health, home, career or vocation, and money freedom.
In the class, I also offer a special 50% discount code on my 28-day ecourse “Healing Your Broken Dreams” — the coupon expires 12/31/12. I hope everyone who needs help handling any kind of devastation in their life will take advantage of this special offer.
Register here if you want to receive Instant Free Access to the stress relief gift package I promised during the teleclass:
“The Evelyn Brooks Born to Triumph Show” — it’s officially launched!
See the link below to listen to the podcast, or find it on iTunes. When you get to iTunes, please give me a 5-star rating. It will help other people find me so I can help them with information on how to lead a happier and less-stressed-out life.
On this free radio podcast show, the topics will be different in each episode, but the one thing they will always have in common is that I’ll be helping YOU to start living your greatness in every area of your life – personal growth, relationships, attracting love, health, wealth, success and happiness!
On today’s podcast, we are going to cover these three stress reduction techniques:
1. Pick one thing to let go of being right about
2. Do something nice for someone else, anonymously
3. Make a list of 12 things you are grateful for
I hope you enjoy my new podcast series. I think it’s a great way to serve you with information for improving your daily life, and you don’t have to go anywhere special at a certain time in order to listen in. The series is entirely without charge to you, and please let your friends know about it too!
to your happiness and success,
I heard an ad on TV the other day while my back was turned doing kitchen chores, and a man’s voice said “There’s nothing worse than a dead battery.” I glanced at the screen and was not surprised to see they were selling a product to jump start your car easily. But what lingered in my mind was the thought that most if not all people could say, “That’s the worse thing? Oh, no, buddy, let me tell you about MY life!” … and then rattle off a string of things far worse than a car battery that needs to be jumped.
If you are having that kind of day, what do you do? Do you simply feel stuck, waiting for something good to come along (represented in our example by the auto club or mechanic who would jump start your vehicle)? If you’re tired of handling life that way, here’s some good news — you can start your day over, no matter what time it is. Here’s how:
- Recognize that your feelings are spiraling downwards. This takes conscious awareness of your thoughts and state of mind.
- Take a moment to calm yourself. Breathe slowly and deeply, counting your breaths a few times to help you focus on peace
- Decide what you would like to feel, and move yourself toward that feeling by thinking of something pleasant or enjoyable, or by doing something you like such as taking a quick walk, playing with your kids or pets, or enjoying a nature vista
Next time your day starts going “wrong” you’ll catch yourself faster, and know what to do. Some people will say things like “Oh, my day started off bad and just got worse and worse as it went on!” but that is really an attitude problem! And since YOU are 100% in control of your own attitude, take a few moments and give yourself an Attitude Adjustment — that’s a good kind of tool to have in your tool box.
to your happiness,
PS To learn more Forget Your Troubles: Enjoy Your Life Today
Today you’ll probably be reading lots of posts, shares, comments and recaps of the 9/11 tragedy that took place eleven years ago in New York City. You’ll see lots of footage on news channels. You’ll hear friends and family reliving how horrified and upset they were that day. What’s really going on here? Are we honoring anyone’s memory when we live in fear of a date? When we dredge up every iota of sorrow, guilt, horror and pain? Actually, no. And that’s why I’m writing this post, to help you shift your perception of 9/11 as well as any other events in your life that produce ongoing grief.
That might seem overly obvious, but it’s really amazing how often we simply stay in a rut, day after day, doing the same kinds of things, as if the To Do List rules our every action.