October 23rd, 2010 Archive

Working at Home Should be Stress-Free

October 23rd, 2010 by Liz in Lifestyle

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing. It’s when you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.” -Margaret Thatcher

One of the things my husband Ric & I love about what we do is that we get to spend a lot of good, quality time with the family.  We get to work at home, or wherever our traveler’s feet to take us.  Our boys Chandler and Stefan appreciate it too, that mom and dad are just a holler away anytime they need us.   Of course, all these we’re able to do with the aid of technology, and the support of some very reliable people whom we can’t live without. <g>

My favorite days are when I’m working from home.  It gives me that balanced sense of control and freedom.  The sense of control comes from knowing that I’m still very much on top of everything, and I am as productive as much as I want to be.  The sense of freedom, I get from being able to readily kick back and take a break whenever I feel the urge to take one.  The pressure I put on myself is only as much as I allow it.  <g>

There are days, though, that working at home is not as blissful as I would like it to be.  Stress triggers can come from a lot of directions –the constant hustle and bustle of high volume online activity, coupled with frequent interruptions of goings-on in other parts of the house, can be overwhelming!

TJ Philpott, internet entrepreneur and author from North Carolina, gives a list of practical tips on how to reduce stress when working online, in the February 2010 issue of Small Business CEO online magazine.  I found TJ’s seven suggestions to be very useful and applicable for people like me whose work is done 80% online.  In all its simplicity, I very much agree and find good sense in it, to help keep my days stress-free, and maintain that work-life balance I need.

There’s a time for everything and TJ’s advice basically tells me to break down my day into three simple categories:

Time to be productive!

I find that it’s during mid-morning that I am most productive.  Just after a leisurely breakfast with Ric and the boys, and right before I have to get up to make lunch for everyone.  It’s during this time that I tackle the more difficult tasks for the day.  Four hours of uninterrupted time is enough to sink my teeth into the challenges of being a small business entrepreneur.  The hours between lunch and supper is devoted to simpler tasks that are administrative in nature.  All these happen in my very own workspace – customized with both efficiency and comfort in mind.   <g>

Time to de-stress!

Whenever I feel the need to get away from it all, I take a good thirty minutes for a walk around the neighborhood.  Depending where we are, it’s always a joy to explore the outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, and delight in the simple beauty of what God and man has created.

On some days, I make it a point to get alone time with a trip to the spa or the salon.  There’s nothing like a little pampering of yourself that will give you that renewed energy to once again, get down and dirty for work! <g>

Time for real people!

Sometimes, being cooped up for hours in that workspace of mine makes me forget about the real world.  Although the wonders of the internet allow me to still connect with the outside – keep up with whatever is happening miles from home, or catch up with people in my online community, I find myself craving for real interaction with real people.  Of course, Ric and the boys are there, but I make it a point too to sit down and have coffee with my circle friends once in a while.  Meeting up with them to talk about everything and anything under the sun is a wonderful way to relax and unwind.  Nothing compares to good conversation with good friends.  It’s a chance to give and receive advice to people I have a lot of things in common with – on family life and parenting, on work and being an entrepreneur.  Dates with my friends always give me fresh insights, new ideas and renewed vigor to continue doing the things that I love! <g>

Working at home, doing everything online, indeed has both its pros and cons.  This is the kind of life that I chose and I am definitely going to make it work for me, with more of the pros on my side.  Work has its challenges, but it’s how we handle them, that make’s doing it much easier and stress-free.  <g>

TJ’s tips indeed make a lot of sense.  Make your own work-at-home situation a pleasant experience, follow some of TJ’s good advice and aim for that work-life balance that everyone should have!

Time for my break now, till next blog! <g>

Enjoy your day,

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