New Year’s Resolutions all WAHMs should consider

sparkling_2014_lightsTo maintain sanity here are some New Year’s Resolutions that all work at home mums, dads and anybody self-employed should consider. They may be things you already have in place but the hectic nature of working from home and having children of any age means they could be exactly what you need to guarantee 2014 is a little less stressful than 2013 may have been. They should both benefit your business and give you a little more family and relaxation time.

1.   Get out of the office

We’ve talked before about the importance of taking breaks and making the most of them for the sake of productivity. For 2014 the challenge is to get out of the office altogether. This can mean working in different places, libraries, coffee shops, anywhere of your choosing or it could mean getting involved with collaborative workplaces. Co-working spaces are popping up across the UK with collaborative, informal Jelly work togethers still growing in popularity. It’s very easy to become isolated when working from home and therefore getting out of your own office and working, even on different projects, but in the same place as others can have a really positive, motivational effect. Try out one co-working space or collaborative working project in your area every quarter of 2014.

2.   Think about now

It’s very easy to spend your entire life thinking about what’s next, especially in business and even more especially when you’ve got a growing family who have all of this to come. For 2014 the challenge is to live in the present. Take some time, if you can find even a minute spare, to embrace now and worry about the future when you have to. Of course planning for the long-term is necessary but just spending time with the family is too.

3.   Learn to say no

When you work for yourself saying no can feel extremely risky. If you’re the only person doing the work then turning anything down can feel like you’re losing money. Nobody can say yes to everybody though and if they do they’ll soon see their family life suffer. Learn to tactically say no, suggest how you could consider working with said contact in the future and recognise that saying yes all the time is having a detrimental effect on your work/life balance.

4.   Have a holiday

OK, you may not be able to jet off to the States or do anything elaborate but committing to some time away, completely 100% away, from work can feel extremely liberating. Promise yourself 5-7 days off, without any work and with strict instruction to clients that you’ll definitely be unavailable for those days. Planning a holiday and working it into your schedule should always be possible and if you can’t remember the last time you had a holiday now’s the time to plan on in 2014.

5.   Separate Work and Play

It’s even in the title – work at home mum. Your professional and personal identities are completely entwined in each other but they don’t have to be. You need to separate the times you are working from the times you are mum, which even writing it down seems quite impossible to imagine. Quick ways to guarantee this are to keep your workspace separate, promise yourself 2-3 work free hours a day to spend solely with the children and even highlight these times to clients so they’re aware of your situation. Any client who recognises the quality of what you offer will appreciate this and you won’t end up losing out.

Making changes which benefit your family as well as your business can be hard, especially if you’re new to self-employment. It’s natural to try and throw every ounce of yourself into your work but why not consider putting things back on a level playing field. Make 2014 the year that both your family and your business are blooming.

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