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If you have been working from home for some time now, you may have fallen victim to a strange phenomenon: the I’m-Not-The-Boss-Of-Me syndrome. You may have started out being the ‘boss of you’ in your home office, but since then have noticed some boss-worker lines getting blurred.
It might you’re pushing away responsibility for deadlines. You let your office become a catch-all of the house. Or, you finally wander into your home office only after binge watching of your favorite show on Netflix. Maybe you’re the opposite, a tyrant that doesn’t give yourself any breaks or fun. Perhaps you are a neglectful boss who is not providing your employee with the tools needed to get the job done properly. Which ever type of boss you are, any of these mentioned puts uneeded stress on you.
Working from Home: Being a Employer and Employee
You’re not alone. Actually, these scenarios aren’t unusual. Most work-at-home people, including myself, find themselves at one point lapsing into a routine that isn’t productive and a healthy working environment. The employer-employee relationship is strained. In order to remedy this, you need to rethink your roles. Find balance between them to gain control and succeed in working from home.
Here are some things the Boss (you) can do for the Employee (you) to be your best boss, reduce stress and get your home office running smoothly again.
Time Management Tools
Working from home creates some unique time management hurdles. When time is not being used well, you get stressed and upset with yourself. You start missing deadlines. You have to explain to others (a client, customer, or employer depending what your income source is) While, at same time you’re trying to figure out how to motivate yourself to get the job done.
As both the boss and the employee, you have some serious decisions to make. Otherwise, you will lose your source of income quickly!
The first step is to use time management tools that fit you best. It might be as simple as keeping a day planner where you can jot down tasks and deadlines. Also, there are many programs and applications for tracking productivity to help identify the areas that need work. Keep track of tasks and the time it takes to do them and you’ll soon understand where to focus and make changes.
Remember the way to creating the best working from home envirment is not to overdo things. Give yourself enough tools to organize your time without creating more stress. Evaluate how your time is spent and how much time you need to devote to work. And then you can decide what changes you need made to succeed.
Be a good boss and give yourself breaks away from your work space. Stand up. Get your body moving. Go out for fresh air. These breaks help to clear your mind and reduce stress, making your more productive and creative. If working from home causes you to work every waking minute, skip meals, and never relax, your work and health will suffer. The fact is, when working without a break the quality of the work suffers. Clarity and focus are lost as the brain gets stuck in slow-motion.
As your boss, you need to remind yourself that you are not a machine. Step outside and take a little walk. Fresh air can work wonders on the creative juices. If you need to, set a timer for breaks, lunch, and, yes, even the end of the work day.
All work and no play makes for a very unhappy you. When you are working from home alone, don’t forget to have a laugh or two during the day. Remember the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”? Same goes for other types of entertainment that reduce stress: listen and dance to music. Spend time with your children playing a game, doing a craft, or reading stories. Find what little pastimes lift your spirit!
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let’s face it, no one is perfect. You only have 24 hours in your day and you can’t spend ever waking minute working. Since you can’t create more time, you can use your time more wisely. Therefore, don’t overload the amount of work. Prioritze your to-do list. If you don’t get all done, that’s okay. Give yourself a break and seek for a solution. Can someone help you with things like cleaning or laundry? Or maybe it’s the time in your business to hire a virtual assistant to help you with daily tasks. Then, you will have more free time to do what you do best.
Creating a work environment in your home office when you are both the boss and employee can be a challenge. It’s like we have batteries. We have to occassionaly unplug and rest. Otherwise our battery get drained and we won’t be able work anymore. Taking a look at your work day schedule from both perspectives is the only way to keep both you and your boss happy. Yes, you ARE the boss of you so treat yourself like the valuable employee you are.