Jeanine Randles was a Copywriter for an advertising firm before deciding to become a Freelancer. However, just a couple of weeks of working from home and she was ready to quit. There were sticky notes all over her apartment, and everywhere she looked reminded of work.
“I quickly realized that my projects where taking a hold of my life. I can’t watch television or feed my fish without thinking about my deadlines,” she recalls. Needless to say, she went back to her regular job and vowed never to work from home again.
Every year, hundreds of freelancers and work-from-home professionals leave their home-based jobs and go back to their regular office jobs because of the same reason. However, the issue could have been resolved. These professionals just needed to establish a boundaries between business and pleasure. Here are ways you can ensure that your job does not invade your personal life.
Design your work space
Assign a specific place in your home or apartment where you do all the work. It could be in a spare room or a nook in the living room. If you have no choice but to bring your work inside your bedroom, position your workplace in such a way that you can’t see it from your bed. The last thing you want to be thinking of before sleep is your deadline. You also don’t want to be waking up to the sight of your unfinished project.
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As much as possible, you also don’t want to use your personal computer for work. It’s easier to keep track of work files on a dedicated computer. In addition, you reduce the risk of virus and malware infections on either devices. In case one computer gets compromised, the information on the other computer stays safe.
Hire a virtual assistant
When things get too busy, its time to hire an assistant. Virtual assistants can help with anything from taking your calls, scheduling personal appointments, to drafting letters and other office duties. Odesk is a great site for finding the perfect assistant.
Get a separate telephone line
If you’re serious about working from home, you need to have a different number for work. The last thing you need is a client calling to check up on you in the middle of a family dinner or when you’re on vacation.
However, applying for another line is a hassle, not to mention expensive. Get a VoIP subscription instead. It’s cheaper, and plans come with great features. Ring Central, a VoIP service provider have plans that go for as low as $9.99 and it comes with 300 minutes worth of calls, which should be more than enough. The plan even comes with free fax – perfect for sending receipt orders and documents.
You can also apply for an online phone system so you can stay in contact with your virtual assistant no matter where they are. With an online phone system, you can forward calls to different numbers, assign extension numbers to more than one person, and even integrate it to your Microsoft Outlook account.