Staying Sane While Running a Business From Home
My journey running a business from home has not been a long one, just around 8 months, but it has been a very interesting and insightful time. Given that the main part of my job is writing - specifically about offices, office design, and office culture - I have tried to be thoughtful and introspective about what has worked and what hasn't.
Here are some of the things I do to not go crazy while working from home:
It seems like taking a break from work while working from home would be easy to do - especially for someone that works for themselves. Because of the nature of working at a computer, there are always an endless number of available tasks to complete, and therefore making time to stop working and take a break can seem like an impossible thing to do.
However, I've found that breaks are actually a necessary part of my day as they help me better organize my thoughts, or just simply think of something else besides work for a few minutes.
- Walk - Walking is a great way to get away from the desk and adding a little exercise and movement to the day. These breaks are often best for me during the early afternoon, when I've got a lot on my mind, or when I'm feeling a bit tired. Walking gets the blood pumping and actually helps me better collect my thoughts or solve a problem.
- Read - If you're like me, "taking breaks" can often mean that you just take a break from one work related task to do another. I've recently begun reading books during some breaks as a way to force my brain to think of something else.
- Do Other Stuff - Because I work from home, I have found myself doing some household chores like dishes, or projects like refinishing a chair during a break in the day. Doing other tasks are a great way to stop working, but still be productive with your valuable time.
Keep Regular Business Hours
Working from home tends to create an odd dynamic where the lines between work and home become blurred. Sometimes people tell me that they have a hard time getting work done while at home - but for me it is the opposite and it can be very difficult to stop working while at home.
To remedy this, I've had to put fairly strict limits on when I can do work during the day.
Go to a Coffee Shop
Even though the perception of working from home is that it is the most amazing experience ever, it definitely has its drawbacks. One of them is that you aren't around people and I find that being in a coffee shop - even if I am not with anyone - satisfies some innate desire to be around others.
I also go to coffee shops just because I like coffee - so adding some additional enjoyment to my day is always a bonus.