Many of us leave our corporate jobs to get away from office politics, long hours and most of all, an unreasonable boss. Our newfound freedom, however, often leaves us working for a much tougher boss: ourselves. If you're tired of working for a jerk, these suggestions will help you enjoy working for yourself.
- Set designated work hours and keep them. The inability to stop working well past normal office hours is common when you're your own boss. Get in the habit of working from a specific time each morning until a certain time each evening. Of course, last minute deadlines will affect your hours, but overall, if you don't set limits, you'll work too much and burn out too quickly. You wouldn't ask an employee to work those hours, so give yourself a break.
- Keep your "to do" list reasonable. It's easy to make the mistake of scheduling several tasks to accomplish in one day when in reality, you have time for only a few. An overloaded list is daunting and an open invitation to procrastination. Rewrite your list at the end of each day or first thing each morning, and determine a realistic number of tasks to tackle that day. In your daily planner, set aside time for phone calls, marketing, correspondence and any other tasks you need to accomplish.
- Avoid working on the weekends. If your business allows it, limit your work days to Monday through Friday. Some clients will only be able to meet with you on Saturday or Sunday, but with those exceptions, schedule all other appointments during the week.
Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of HomeOfficeLife.com and the author of Organizing Your Home Office For Success (Blakely Press) and 101 Home Office Success Secrets (Career Press).
Brother home office expert Lisa Kanarek advises corporations and individuals on all aspects of working from home and writes the blog Working Naked. She is the author of several books, including Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life.