I have currently been reading a book called, “Making Work at Home Work” by Mary M. Byers. I have to say…it is a wonderful book! This book is chock full of great ideas and suggestions for the Work-At-Home-Parent. She divides the book into two (2) separate categories – Part 1: Saving Your Sanity and Part 2: Preserving Your Profit. I’ll be discussing Part 1 today and will discuss Part 2 next week.
Within Part 1, Mary talks about being honest with yourself and knowing the difference between an “at home” mom vs. a “work at home” mom. Once you can truly understand the differences you can start to turn your business into the profit-maker you had always dreamed it could be. In addition, she teaches you how to balance your time more effectively as well as providing Work-At-Home-Mom Profiles (including her own). These actually came in very handy for me. I was able to see where others were coming from and where they were wanted to go. Not to mention their reasons for wanting to jump ship from the corporate life and work from home.
What I also found interesting is her chapter on child care. Yes, child care! Yes, you may work from home, but there will be times when you do need to seperate yourself from this aspect of your life in order to keep clients’ projects running smoothly or in order to keep your business functioning the way you would like it to be. Although I know in my head that requesting help or finding child care for a day or two is OKAY, I still struggle in this area. However, reading about this in Mary’s book does reinforce my belief that I’m not alone.
The other chapter that really got to me was Chapter 10-Refreshment. This chapter delves into knowing how and when it’s time to take a break. Here are the steps Mary Byers provides:
- Get out regularly.
- Schedule it (meaning your refreshment time).
- Be creative.
- Recognize your specific needs.
- Have a standing date.
- Build a work-at-home network.
- Take your work off-site.
- Participate in group exercise.
- Volunteer-but don’t overdo it.
- Give yourself some time off.
- Establish quiet time each day.
- Negotiate evening office time to lower your stress.
For me, these tips have been invaluable and I have even begun to incorporate a few of them into my daily routine. I have even put up a quote from the book near my laptop as a reminder: “The challenge of being available and present for both clients and family simultaneously is the very thing that makes refreshment so important.”
The most important thing I have taken away from this book so far is that I’m still a work in progress and it’s OKAY. I know I’ll get there soon and with great tips from this book as well as support from my fellow VA’s it may be even sooner!