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Work, Interrupted

How to deal with interruptions when you work from home

This story appears in the May 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

There's an ugly little myth homebased business owners are constantly called upon to shatter: that you're not really working. You're not really under constant deadlines, so you have the freedom to take off at any moment to share coffee with a neighbor, a long-distance chit-chat with Aunt Rita or an Oprah moment with your spouse.

While you thought you escaped the demons of watercooler gossip and cubicle chatter when you went homebased, unwelcome interruptions are not a thing of the past. But instead of annoying coworkers you could easily dismiss, now the interruptions are courtesy of people you actually like. How do you deal with well-meaning friends and family without sounding like a shrew?

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