People who run businesses from home are of two distinct minds.
Some need to draw the mental and physical lines that separate home from work so they can make a clear distinction for themselves and their families. Others rail at the thought, and consider artificial boundaries contrary to the whole purpose of being homebased. "When I first started working from home, I tried to block off time when I would work and do nothing else, but I quickly realized that didn't cut it for me," says Diana Salerno, a marketing consultant in Houston. "Ideas flow whether I'm in or out of my work area. I need to able to work on my `home to do' list when I'm in my office, and I need to answer a business call when I'm outside playing with my dog."
On the other hand, those who need to establish clear boundaries agree with Linda Sizemore's assessment that it's too easy for work to intrude upon our home lives, especially when there's a business in the home. Sizemore, a clinical psychologist in Highland Park, Illinois, urges entrepreneurs to set up a system. "When they're working at home, they concentrate on their business. And when they leave their home offices, they do home- or personal-related tasks," she says. "If they can't make this transition clear, their personal lives drop to the lowest rung on the scale, their personal needs don't get met, and they burn out."