7 Steps to Setting Better Boundaries When You Work From Home

Setting BoundariesMoms who work from home do not lack ambition. We do not lack creativity. We do not lack intelligence, discipline or vision. Some people might say we lack time, although we have the same amount of hours in a day as anyone else. But we are missing something crucial to our success – effective boundaries.

We are in desperate need of a gatekeeper — that wonderful person who protects you from interruptions and distractions and keeps you focused on your most important tasks. I remember being envious of senior level executives in the corporate world who had someone to answer their phones, check their email, schedule appointments and clear their desk so they could solve problems and create solutions. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have that kind of assistant in your home office?

For most of us, that’s a pipe dream. We have to be our own gatekeepers. And it can be particularly challenging when we spend most of our day shifting from “mom” to “business person” and back again. We love both of our jobs and it’s difficult to keep them separated. Our minds are divided and our hearts are torn. But there are some strategies we can put in place to set better boundaries when we work from home.

How to Set Better Boundaries When You Work From Home

1. Establish regular office hours. Even if you have to change them every week, it’s important for everyone to know when you are working and when you are not working. Too many moms try to “squeeze in” a few hours of work when it’s convenient but there never ends up being a good time for it. So be intentional about when you plan to work.

2. Identify dedicated office space. I love those photos of women working on their laptops at the beach but somehow I just don’t think I’d get much accomplished if I took my office to the beach or the pool or the playground. I’m the kind of person who is sensitive to my environment. I like an organized desk and familiar noise-free surroundings. So I do most of my work within the four walls of my home office. It’s the best way for me to set a mental and physical boundary. When I cross the threshold into the foyer, I’m no longer at work. Even if you don’t have a separate office with a door, try establishing a designated space for work – and use that space for nothing else but work.

3. Communicate clearly. It’s not enough for YOU to set boundaries, you also have to make sure those around you know what to expect. Talk with your children about rules for picking up the phone, answering the door, keeping the noise volume down, playing on your computer and entering the office without permission. Discuss your office hours with your husband so he knows when to expect you to be available for him (hint, hint: you might need to have this conversation if he’s upset that you spend every night on the couch with your laptop while he’s trying to enjoy downtime with you). Let your mom know that you can’t chat for an hour every day while you’re working (then give her an alternative time to talk!). Tell the ladies in your small group that you won’t be able to grab coffee spontaneously but that you can’t wait for the next regularly scheduled meeting. And by all means, kindly inform your friends, your sister and your neighbors that while you love their children you are not available to babysit during work hours. [Read more...]

Verse of the Year 2014: Jeremiah 29:1

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

Scripture Verse of the Year 2014 – By Christina Ryan Claypool

“He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Jeremiah 29“Help me, Jesus!” Desperately, I prayed this little prayer wondering if Heaven was listening, because the cash register in my thrift/antique store hadn’t rung up many sales lately. It was about two decades ago and I was a single mom supporting my young son through my retail establishment. I tried my best to be frugal with the earnings my small business brought in. But there hadn’t been much income in awhile, and I was pretty frantic.

Today, I still pray these three powerful words whenever I don’t know how else to pray. I call this my breath prayer. It is not so much that I recite it while asking for divine assistance. Rather it just comes spontaneously from a place deep inside that believes God is still in control, when circumstances scream that all is lost.

And I have to be honest with you, that’s where I was for months lately. Like there is just no way that God can make everything alright. This is in contrast to my public image as a woman of steadfast faith who has written Christian recovery books and in the past worked in television ministry. So, when I first saw a post asking for guest bloggers to share their Scripture for 2014, I tried to ignore it. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite, and pretend that I had something significantly spiritual to tell others when I was experiencing my own dark night of the soul. 

But the request haunted me. “What will your 2014 Scripture be?” a still small voice asked relentlessly. Suddenly, I knew what it was, because there is an old postcard on my refrigerator that seemed to shout, “I’m it. Look at me.” To explain about the postcard, I have to travel back in time. For my husband’s job as a school administrator we have had to move four times in the past twelve years. My spouse came into my life late. Even though our first move wasn’t far, it caused me to leave my hometown, and to be miles away from my by then adult child. I was grieving, and couldn’t be consoled.

The year was 2004, and I was also attending graduate school in ministry at Ohio’s Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. One day in the university book shop, I happened to notice a postcard with a sky blue background and beautiful rainbow with the printed words, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…plans to give you hope and a future…” Jeremiah 29:11. I had always loved this verse. It also said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. Impulsively, I bought the postcard and tucked it away. I didn’t think much about it, until it came time for our move. [Read more...]

Verse of the Year: Ephesians 5:15-16

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re celebrating the New Year by selecting scripture verses to guide us through 2013. This post is part of a series of Guest Posts from readers of the blog and members of the network. We pray they will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you in the new year!

By Alyssa Avant

Scripture Verse for 2013:

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV) [Read more...]