Flipping The Switch

Written by Elena Fawkner

So, you work from home. Good for you! No boss looking over your shoulder, no wasting time commuting to and from repparttar office, no-one setting your hours for you or telling you what to do. No one to care if you're wearing your rattiest clothes or don't take a shower before 10:00 am. And how about no life and no time for yourself while we're onrepparttar 117475 subject of what you don't have any more? Sound familiar? If so, read on.

Escapingrepparttar 117476 regimented structure imposed upon you by repparttar 117477 corporate world may have been one ofrepparttar 117478 driving forces that prompted you to seek a way to work from home inrepparttar 117479 first place. One ofrepparttar 117480 often-overlooked advantages of such a structure, though, is that it *is* a structure. It has limits, it places you at a certain place at a certain time, and it dictates what you will spend your time on.

In other words, it establishes boundaries in your life. The boundary between work and home, work and play, on duty and off duty, company time and your time. You could leave work atrepparttar 117481 end ofrepparttar 117482 day and your time was your own.

Sure, you may have had other obligations but at least your work was confined withinrepparttar 117483 boundaries of a workplace and a workday. Working from home, for all its advantages, can sometimes haverepparttar 117484 disadvantage of removingrepparttar 117485 boundaries between work and home, work and play, work time and your time. For some,repparttar 117486 problem may manifest itself as a tendency to procrastinate when it comes to work activities or a lack of personal self-discipline may become unavoidably obvious. For such people,repparttar 117487 formalized structure of a workplace separate fromrepparttar 117488 home may suit them better thanrepparttar 117489 independence and autonomy of a home business.

This article, though, is concerned with those atrepparttar 117490 other end ofrepparttar 117491 spectrum. Those who have absolutely no difficulty at all in motivating and disciplining themselves to work from home. So much so that their home business literally takes over their entire lives.

In my time online, I've heard many people say that they sit at their computers for 18 hours a day working on their businesses. Oftentimes, they will still be working at 3:00 am and then go to bed for four hours or so before getting back inrepparttar 117492 saddle. They say this as if it is something to be proud of. I don't know about you, but working from home, when and if I am finally able to achieve it on a full-time basis, will be first and foremost a lifestyle choice.

By that I mean I expect my decision to work from home will result in an enhancement of my lifestyle in that I won't have to commuterepparttar 117493 best part of an hour to get to and from work each day, if I want to start at 5:00 am and finish forrepparttar 117494 day at noon I can do that. If I want to work all weekend and take two days off duringrepparttar 117495 week I can do that too. I can choose repparttar 117496 projects I want to work on, I can retainrepparttar 117497 rewards of my own efforts and I am answerable to no-one but myself. Although I understand that I will work as hard or harder at home than I do atrepparttar 117498 office, I certainly have no intention of merely exchanging one form of prison for another.

So, it perplexes me that some people seem to think it is a Good Thing to shackle themselves to a desk for 18 hours straight and break only to snatch a few hours sleep before starting all over again. But, if that's how they want to live their lives, that's entirely their business.

But what of those who want more balance in their lives but find they simply can't 'fliprepparttar 117499 switch' on their home business so that home becomes a retreat again oncerepparttar 117500 workday is over? If this is you, here are six suggestions to help you turn off your business and turn on your life.

1. Confine business activities to an exclusively "work" room

If possible, confine your business activities to a certain area ofrepparttar 117501 house, preferably a room that is exclusively used by you as your place of work. The advantage of a room as opposed to an unused corner ofrepparttar 117502 living room is that when work is done forrepparttar 117503 day you can literally and symbolically shutrepparttar 117504 door on it. Out of sight, out of mind. If you don't cordon off your work area in this way, you will be reminded of work whenever you enter repparttar 117505 living room. Even though you may not be physically engaged in work, you will still be mentally engaged and that'srepparttar 117506 same thing.

2. Separate communications systems

Have separate communications systems for home and work. That is, you have one telephone for home and one for work. The same for fax machines, cell phones and email accounts. When you're working, you should have your home answering machine on. When you're home, you should have your work answering machine on.

Invest in a SURE THING

Written by Holly Cotter

Withrepparttar stock market so unpredictable these days, many people are taking big hits.

My parents are a prime example.

They spent over 3 decades carefully budgeting their money and putting some away each month into a retirement account. A couple of years ago, they could have lived a very comfortable life onrepparttar 117474 interest generated by their stock portfolio. But this year, when my father turned 65 and was ready to retire,repparttar 117475 interest from their investments won't even cover their monthly mortgage payment.

Unfortunately, there are many people inrepparttar 117476 same predicament.

But, although recentlyrepparttar 117477 stock market has become more volatile, it has never been a "sure thing." Historically, if you can leave your money in a mutual fund for 10 years, it will gain in value. But, for short-term investing, there has always been a high element of risk.

Take my friend, George, for example.

For several years, he made a very comfortable living playingrepparttar 117478 stock market from home on his computer. In fact, 3 years ago, he made over $500,000 in a few short months! Wait...don't get envious yet. A couple of months later, he had lost it all AND over $150,000 more. But,repparttar 117479 worst part is, sincerepparttar 117480 loss occurred afterrepparttar 117481 new year began,repparttar 117482 IRS expected George to pay taxes onrepparttar 117483 half million he earned...and he couldn't reportrepparttar 117484 loss until he filed his taxes a year later!

Now, I'm not sayingrepparttar 117485 stock market is bad. In fact, I strongly believe in investing inrepparttar 117486 stock market...AFTER you have built a generous income and have EXTRA money to risk.

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