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Dont Blur The Lines Between Working And Living

Aug 17, 2007
When you run a home based business it can be very easy for you to perform your job functions and your living functions in the same room. Before you know it, youre working on the home computer out of your bedroom, using your kitchen as a warehouse, and using your livingroom floor to spread out all of your filing and paperwork to help you find that one file you are looking for.

1. Keep It Separate

If you can, keep your work and your life separate. The absolute best thing you can do is to have a two-story house, using the bottom level for your business and the top level for your home. If you can't achieve that, then you will have to set up some other boundaries. A room divider can be a great way to divide a space if you plan on dividing a room into two portions. If you can, label rooms as either work rooms or personal rooms. Not only will this help you to keep organized but you will be able to confidently prove to the government that a specific percentage of your home is being used exclusively for business. This means that you can write off that percentage of your mortgage or rent.

2. Separate Work Time Also, Play Time

Have a daily schedule of when you will work and when you will be doing personal things. For example, you can say that you will work 9 - 00-5 - 30, or if you want to get up earlier, 7 - 00-3 - 30. In this way you can keep track of your billable hours if you are providing a service from home. In any case, without a plan youre inevitably going to do far too much work or far too little.

3. Define The Lines

For those that have a family, you will definately want to separate the time you spend with your family and the time you spend working. When your children end up needing attention while you are working with customers you will undoubtedly come off as unprofessional. Your clients may think twice about doing business with someone that has other obligations to attend to. In general, make sure your family knows business rooms are off limits at all times.

4. Get A Second Phone Line Also, Answering Machine

If you don't already have both of these, you will want to pick them up right away. An answering machine will allow you to follow up on business leads that you would otherwise not recieve when you are out of the office. More importantly, a second phone line will allow you to place customers on hold so you can deal with more than one simultaneously.
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