One of the dangers of working from home is that you're surrounded by work 24/7. If you work at an office, when you turn off the lights and lock your office door for the night, you're usually done for the day. When you work at home, your office is only steps away as is your laptop. The temptation to work when you should be spending time with family is great.
Unfortunately, many work at home moms run into the trap of working more than they should and neglecting their families, even though they originally started working from home to be able to spend more time with family.
1. Determine when you're most productive. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Determine when you're most productive and then do your best to get the bulk of your difficult work done during that time. Hire a sitter or see if dad can watch the kids during your productive hours.
2. Determine your money making work. You have work that makes you a significant amount of money and work that must be done but doesn't make much money. Try to make sure 80% of your work time is spent on the money making activities; the other activities can take 20% of your time. If you can't get the non-money making activities done during that time, consider hiring a virtual assistant.
3. Set non-working hours. Determine what hours will be non-working hours and spent with your family. During that time, put up the laptop as well as your cell phone. Let your family know what you're doing so they can make sure you stay on track and spend uninterrupted time with them.
4. Limit your work hours. When work bleeds into all areas of your life, you likely spend a lot of time doing mindless activities like checking e-mail 10 times a day when you could easily get by just checking two or three times a day. To resist work creep, determine how many hours a week you need to work and then set "office" hours for your work time. This should help you remain productive because you know you only have a set number of hours a week to get everything done.
What are your favorite ways to establish work/family balance?