When working alone in a home business, it can get lonely. You try to find ways to avoid that feeling, but it’s one of the many challenges.
Staying focused and being highly productive when no one is cracking the proverbial whip isn’t easy for everyone. But when you are wanting a healthy work-life balance, it’s vital to be efficient with every 15-minute work segment.
That way, you don’t need to work beyond the time you agree to stop, so you can enjoy life too.
Here are some useful tips on how to still build a successful home business while keeping a work-life balance.
How to Run a Successful Home Business
1. Stay Financially Organized Creates Less Stress
Being organized in the finances of the business is helpful to avoid financial stress.
Worrying about not having enough cash flow in the operation or whether you can make your own payroll is a stress you don’t need.
Not everyone is great about managing money, even inside their own successful home business.
Business owners are often notoriously bad at doing so. One way to get some well-rounded knowledge of financial management, business law and strategy is to study for one of the many business administration degrees using distance learning.
Distance learning means you can attend an educational institution even if it’s not near where you live or work because the course is managed online. You can see a variety of business administration degrees to determine which one will be most helpful to you.
2. Proper Separation Between Work and Personal Life
When thinking about the separation between a busy personal life and work life at home, it’s important to consider interruptions as a major issue.
It might be the kids coming in to ask you to play with them, constant phone calls or YouTube prompts about a new video on a business-related channel. It could also be the frequent email reminders as people reach out to contact you.
It all acts to interrupt what you’re trying to get done and prevents you from running a successful home business effectively.
It’s helpful to think about what you do in terms of deep work, which is the title of Cal Newport’s book on the topic.
He studied the effect that frequent interruptions from modern smartphone devices, 100 TV channels, live streaming and other distractions had on people trying to get work done.
Newport found that the number of interruptions to workers has gotten so bad recently that employees are beginning to show signs of being unable to get much work done at all.
Depending on the tasks, some require full concentration for a sustained period which takes time to get back into once interrupted. Every stoppage period could add a delay of 5-10 minutes before getting fully back into the task once again.
Intentionally creating a line between your personal life and work by letting friends and family know when you’ll be unavailable means you can get more done.
The quality of your work will likely improve too because deeper thought and higher-level brainstorming allow better ideas to surface.
3. Keep Organized to Avoid Working Longer Due to Inefficiency
If you’re naturally disorganized, this can play havoc with your ability to run your own successful home business.
Even small operations become difficult to manage when you’re having to do everything in the organization as a solopreneur having a successful home business.
Finding items takes longer than it should, records get lost, and files cannot be located easily because you fail to remember where you stored them.
Sometimes important drafts might get deleted or misfiled making it necessary to recreate them. This then causes lost time both looking and failing to find the item and recreating it from memory.
When you make it a point to put time into staying organized, then you can find what you’re looking for easily when you need it.
Tasks can be completed more easily and with less stress. You’re also able to get out of your home office on time and enjoy the rest of your evening without needing to stay behind.
4. Take Regular Breaks to Maintain Focus
Being a workaholic is never a good idea for productivity.
It’s easy to forget to eat when you’re stuck into a task and wish to complete it. That’s all well and good. But when you don’t take breaks to give your eyes something else to focus on, eat healthily and adequately, and stay hydrated, it can begin to affect the quality of your thoughts and ability to focus.
Taking regular breaks allows the brain and body to get a little bit of recovery time and you come back to your desk feeling refreshed.
There’s a common belief that too much time is lost to timed breaks. The reality is that any time taken is recovered by higher levels of productivity and better quality deep work.
5. Longer Works Days Aren’t Necessarily Better
Long days aren’t always the solution to getting more done if you want to have a successful home business.
Many office workers work over eight hours, but when cutting out all the distractions on the internet and in the office environment, they only manage 3-4 hours of productive activity. The rest is lost time where nobody gains.
While it’s typically the new business owners who work 10+ hours and come in on the weekends too, it’s never been proven that it helps markedly in the business’s success. It’s actually more likely that they’ll be a greater number of mistakes made in the work or product.
Tiredness may make it harder to spot the mistakes before they go out to the client or end customers. This then leads to returns and producing a second version, along with a loss in business reputation, which a new business can ill afford.
6. Avoid Parkinson’s Law in Your Home-Based Business
Parkinson’s Law is bottled down to the idea that things will expand to fill the available space.
The phenomenon affects work tasks because if a given task should take only four hours but there are six hours available to complete it, the task tends to take the six hours.
There are a variety of different reasons why this occurs.
Some of these reasons include people slowing down their productivity rate, lacking any sense of urgency, getting started later than they would have otherwise, and underestimating the time a task would take.
Ultimately, tasks should be given a fixed time to complete them. This way, you avoid them taking all day to get them completed.
Schedule another task right after the first task to prevent Parkinson’s Law coming into effect.
While the idea of a work-life balance became a popular idea that some people poured scorn on, the reality is that there’s plenty of good reasons for it.
Overwork and working too many hours without considering its effect on overall productivity or happiness in life is problematic. Working too much can create stress, which has potentially negative health consequences too, as well as hurt your successful home business.
The human body requires plenty of recovery time beyond what sleep provides. Going through periods of activity followed by periods of rest is best to pace out your day and avoid burning out.
When you’re a solopreneur, there’s no one else to take up the slack if you suddenly find that you’ve burnt out and need to take a serious break to recover.
Therefore, maintaining a sensible work-life balance is essential to avoid overdoing it and suffering the consequences, which would be bad for you and your successful home business too.