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How do I separate work time from family time?

Monday, 30 August 2010 | By James Thomson
Basing your business at home allows you to stay closely connected to your family. When the kids need to be picked up from school or are home sick, the home-based businessperson can quickly drop everything and respond.
 But having the family so close to work can also spell trouble if distractions and family problems start to eat into work time. So what is the best way to separate work time from family time?
 
One tactic is to create a physical barrier. While it’s inevitable that family members will wander in and out of your home office from time to time, creating a physical barrier – something as simple as a closed door – gently lets the family know that it’s time for work.
 
Another important tactic is to set and try to stick to specific work hours that everyone in the family acknowledges and respects. But remember, it works both ways – if you want your family to leave you alone during work time, you’ve got to know when to leave the office and head for the family room.
 
Finally, a good way to ensure that you keep family and work separate is to bring them together. Keep your family informed about how your business is performing and what important deadlines you have coming up and explain why you’ll need to focus on work for certain periods.
 
If everyone feels involved with the business, they’ll be much more supportive and understanding.