Don't Waste Your Time
If you work at home and get frequent visitors, follow these tricks to avoid common wastes of time.
First, arrange your furniture in a way that does not make people feel overly welcome and comfortable. (If you deal regularly with clients, however, this advice does not apply.) If someone remains a chronic, unwelcome drop-in, diplomatically let him or her know that you have work to do and will socialize only after office hours. It might help to have a script arranged if you are afraid of floundering. Don't feel bad. Remember that this is one aspect of running a business. The other party should feel apologetic for not demonstrating more sensitivity where you are concerned. Another method you can implement when people stay just a bit too long is to have a few closings at hand that will help them get the picture. You might say, "Before you go." or, "Before we wrap up, is there anything else you wanted to cover?" Be as businesslike as possible at all times.
Excerpted from Starting a Home-based Business