You have set your workspace to be at the corner of your kitchen table. Although this place is far from optimum, you are still getting your work done.
You tend to wake up earlier than your family so that you can do some productive work related to your online business. However, all this changes when your family wakes up.
Since you still keep your laptop in the kitchen, you are mixing two activities together: Working and socializing with your family at the same time.
Even though you are working, you are still giving an impression outside that you are available to others. That’s because you are located in the same space where others are spending their time too.
For instance, when your wife talks to you during these moments, you are not fully focusing on her. This makes her annoyed since you are not paying enough attention to what she says.
You are also annoyed, since you are not getting your work done, because she is distracting you.
In the wrong place at the wrong time
Working in an environment where others are spending their time too has one big disadvantage: Others think you available to them, since you are physically present.
This is especially true if you try to be part of the conversation with others (while working), they also expect that you to be fully present to them.
This confuses everyone else even more. They don’t really know if you are in a work-mode or in a socializing mode.
Although your working location is the key to all this confusion, there is also something deeper that causes this friction between you and other family members.
Illusion of being present
When you are facing a situation like this, it’s because you have an illusion inside your head: That you can do focused work and be fully present with your family.
In other words, you think you capable of doing something that no one else can do: Multitasking successfully!
Of course, this is not possible, and you can probably tell this from the reaction of others and the work results you are getting.
When you are building your business and you have a family, you have two roles to play: The business owner and the family member.
In normal circumstances these roles are fine, but you shouldn’t be mixing them
together at once. You can only focus properly on one role at a time.
Setting the boundaries the right way
To fix this situation, you have to “isolate” yourself when you are working.
In this context, isolation means that you need to set up a dedicated workspace when you work. The workspace also needs to physically be in a different location than where your family is.
This way it’s easier for your family members to recognize when you are available and when you are not. It also prevents you from socializing with your family while you work, and they are also less likely to distract you.
Finally, you should define the time when you do your work. This ensures that others know at what time you are in a work mode and when you shouldn’t be disturbed.
With these steps, you can clear up the confusion, focus on your work, and also be fully
present with your family when you are not working.
How to be present to your family – 100%
To “isolate” yourself, take the following steps:
1. Change your mindset. Understand that you cannot multitask and be effective at the same time. In other words, don’t try to do two things at once, even if you think that’s a great idea.
Socializing with your family and focusing on your business at the same time just doesn’t work!
2. Isolate yourself physically. Decide on your working location carefully. If you have a work room in your home, then try to work there whenever possible.
If you don’t have any dedicated place in your home, seek out places outside your home:
A coffee shop
In the near-by park (considering that the weather permits and you have the Internet connection available)
A hotel room
A co-working space
An office space
You can also work without any dedicated space in your home, but this means that
you are limited to working when your family is away or sleeping.
3. Define your working times. Don’t just keep it to yourself when you do your work: Let others know your schedules too.
You can even put your schedule visible in a family calendar where others can see it. In that calendar, also try to include a place where you do your work, especially if it’s outside your home.
This way everyone knows when and where you work and no additional confusion is created.
Yours free: Online Business Productivity – The book
Today is a special day since I have published my first book called: “Online Business Productivity: How to Start a Productive Online Business and Get Sh*t Done – Even When You Are Working from 9-5!”
It’s a free download and the book is for anyone who is looking forward to building his/her online business (either full-time or part-time), and who wants to improve his/her productivity while doing so.
All you have to do is just go to the download page, give me your name and e-mail address, and in exchange I’ll give you an instant access to this book!
You can also buy the print or Amazon Kindle version too. It makes the reading a much nicer experience – especially if you want to take the book with you wherever you go.
With 18 co-authors (like Pat Flynn, Erin Falconer and Corbett Barr), he wrote a book about how to build an online business and get stuff done – even when working from 9-5 (available as a free download or through Amazon).