Let’s admit it, working from home is fab. But some people, especially those who have to commute to work every day, may not totally understand what that means. Sometimes people assume since you’re home, you’re available. So your neighbor calls you asking if you could come over to help them fill out some paperwork. Out of respect, you go and help. But then a week or two later, they call again. This time they are having problems with their sprinklers. Or a friend just drops by. You know this is interfering with your work life, but you go over. Again.
Ask yourself, how is being there for your neighbor, friend, or loved, within work hours actually unhelpful for you? In this case, it’s cutting off your productivity. Time is money, honey! When you work from home, you need to set boundaries.
A boundary, according to Dictionary.com, is something that indicates a limit. You can set a boundary by letting your people know you are not available during work hours. In my experience, I set boundaries by letting my girlfriends know I am not available from 8am – 5pm and therefore, I can’t join them for lunches. They didn’t get it and I kept getting lunch invitations. So I began to ignore their phone calls and texts, answering them until after 5pm. They eventually got it. 🙂
Similar to our personal lives, there are clients who find it appropriate to call you past 5pm – or even worse, on weekends! I get it, when you first start your work-from-home business, you’re on hustle mode and you want to keep clients happy, so you’re quick to answer emails and return phone calls. But eventually that takes a toll on you.
Again, ask yourself, how is answering phone calls or emails during non-work hours actually unhelpful for me? How is this interfering with my life? For a lot of us, answering emails and phone calls after work hours or weekends interferes with our personal lives.
At Wild Web Women and at our sister company, Web Marketing Therapy, we let clients know we are available during work hours, 8am – 5pm, Monday through Friday. If we get an email at 9pm on a Friday night, we will address it until Monday morning (unless it’s a work emergency!).
Setting a new boundary might be uncomfortable. You might feel bad. But that emotion is usually part of the process. Just remember, setting a boundary does not make you a bad person. It’s helping you live a healthier, more productive life.
You have no power of what your friends, family members, or clients will do or say. But you do have control over your own actions. You might be saying no to them, but you are saying yes to yourself.