Home business burn out is a little talked about malady that can affect home business women at all stages in their career. Most women develop a home based business in order to be able to spend more time with their children, or to be able to have the flexibility of working from home. While it is most definitely challenging to be a full-time working mom outside the home, it can be just as difficult, if not MORE so, to be a full-time work at home mom.
When your children see that you are home, it is natural for them to assume that you are at their service. Your daughter needs a ride to her dance class, your son lost his toy truck and wants you to find it for him, and your spouse is busy with projects and wants you to run to the store and pick up something for dinner. And, not to mention your business ... your clients are expecting you to complete their projects on time. This is enough to create home business burn out even before you start!
How do you address this? First, hold a family meeting and explain how important it is to that you have time set aside for your business. Let your children know that your business helps you to provide the food, clothes and toys they enjoy. You need to create a very clear boundary around your business. If you worked outside the home, your family would not come to your workplace and ask you to do all those miscellaneous tasks! Working from home is no different.
Home business burn out happens when you do not set clear limits. Since your family is a priority, you will need to schedule time to be with them, just as you would for your clients. Working from home allows you to have a flexible schedule that gives you the opportunity to attend school functions and other activities that your children are involved in.
One problem that home business owners face is the temptation to procrastinate and not get your work done. When you work in an office, there are fewer distractions and your co-workers can be a motivating force. Working solo at home requires more motivation and self discipline. On the other hand, you may go overboard in the other direction and and spend too much time working! Your family needs to have some quality time with you, so you will need to find a balance. You will also need the support of your family, as starting a new home business can be draining. Avoid home business burnout by making sure you are well supported!
Make a plan with your family to help you with the household chores. This is very important! Set up a schedule where everyone pitch in. Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to help with tasks such as vacuuming, emptying the garbage, doing laundry, preparing their lunches for school, and even preparing dinner. If you have a spouse, make sure that they are involved too!
If your children are young, another option is to ask a young teenager in the neighborhood to come to your home and keep your children occupied while you work. A younger teenager without a lot of babysitting experience will charge less than an older teen. Since you will be in the house, you can be available in case of an emergency. Your young sitter can play with your children, read stories to them, do puzzles and projects together, and you can have three or four hours of uninterrupted work time. Managing a busy family life and a home business will never be easy, but with practice and patience, you can avoid home business burn out and achieve success and balance in your life!
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