When it comes to being a freelance court reporter, there are perks like working from home but there can be pitfalls too. For some it is challenging to balance work and home life especially when they both take place in the same space! Here are our tips to keep you focused on your work while taking care of your personal life.
Create workspace and hours of operation.
Eight years ago I started working from home and one of the best pieces of advice I received was to create a separate space for work and to establish work hours. Even if you’re working in the dining room three until midnight, that’s time dedicated to your business!
For me, I have a separate office where I literally open and close business. My family knows if the door is closed, it’s work time and they aren’t to disturb me. It works well on most days and when it doesn’t, I adjust my work schedule so I can take care of everyone – family and clients.
To find the time of day that works best for you, take notice of when you’re most productive.
Be gentle with yourself by understanding that productive times of day may shift as your life changes. For now, note if you’re a morning or night person. If morning, take care of important, detail oriented tasks like transcription early and leave emails and appointment setting for later. I’d also recommend saving tasks like laundry and dishes for your off-peak, less productive times of day.
Schedule everything so you know when you’re available for client work and social time.
My friend works from home and her sister thinks that means she can stop by for coffee and gossip anytime. That’s a sure way to kill productivity…and maybe even a friendship.
Instead of being frustrated, communicate your work schedule to friends and family, especially the ones that live with you and the ones that might think they can stop by anytime because, “you work from home so you can be bothered whenever.” Remind them that if everyone stopped by, you’d get no work done so they need to be respectful of your time. Suggest coffee, lunch, or dinner dates rather than keeping an open schedule.
Consider a shared Google or iCal with your spouse so they know when you’re busy and when they can schedule time with you whether that’s date night, family dinner, or paying the bills. Sounds silly but it has saved my husband and I a lot of confusion and stress to know when we each have work and other commitments.
When it comes to working from home, you’ve got to find what works best for you. Here’s to your productivity! If you’re not sure where to start, give us a call. We’d love to chat with you.