5 Keys to Work-at-Home NirvanaGuest_Blogger | May 09, 2008
Wendy Piersall is the owner of Sparkplugging.com, formerly known as eMoms at Home. Wendy has years of experience freelancing, working from home and juggling the roles of business owner and mom.
Wendy Piersall - Guest Contributor
Through years of trial and error, Wendy discovered a few simple ways to find a balance that works for her. For a special Mother's Day post, Wendy shares some tips with us:
8 years ago I launched a freelance graphic design career and since then have been through the ups and downs of working from home, owning a business and being a mom. I founded Sparkplugging.com to help others learn from my mistakes. If I had to give you only five pieces of advice on balancing life while working at home, this is what they would be.
1. Schedule Strict Down Time
Today I am religious about taking weekends off, eating dinner as a family every night, and getting time for my love of photography. Of course, special projects sometimes override my schedule - so when that happens I pay the time back by taking more time off of work when the project is complete.
2. Outsource Grunt Work
Nothing burns me out more than doing work I HATE to do. Today I'm willing to earn less in order to make sure I don't have to deal with the stuff that drains my passion for work. You need that passion to be successful. Don't waste it on stuff that other people can do faster, cheaper, and sometimes better than you.
3. Diversify Income Sources
I kick myself in the pants every now and then for not putting together products I could have sold when I was a designer. I could have created brilliant Photoshop brushes, written an e-book, or sold illustration prints. A backup income plan when the design work dried up would have been far better for my health than doubling my hours!
4. Get Out of the House
While working from home is seemingly idyllic, the reality of the way we work is that working at home can be extremely isolating. While it's easy to socialize online, in the end that means more time in front of the computer, and less time for l.i.f.e. You have the flexibility to walk the kids to school or to go work at Starbucks. Take it - adult conversation is way cheaper than therapy.
5. Leverage Technology
Entrepreneurship and self-employment is at an all time high for one reason - the technology allows us to do so. There are productivity tools everywhere, some right under your nose. Work off of your iPhone for a few hours by the pool. Take a few hours to set up a sophisticated email filtering management system. Or check out these 25 other mostly-free tech tools geared towards making family life easier.