said 1 year, 4 months ago:
I’ve been working from home office for 7 years. I have a dedicated room for the office. My home phone is also my office phone.
At the beginning and for several years, I was in my office 7 days a week. If I wasn’t working “iin” the business, I was working “on” the business. After several years of needing to set up my business and grow and refine it, I found I was reaching burnout.
So, I then started to advise clients I was only available for 5 weekdays during regular business hours. Unless, they had an emergency which they must advise me of on Friday – then I would let them know if I could be available to work that weekend. I also made sure that I sent and answered emails during those regular weekday hours. Of course, I sometimes worked evenings or weekends anyway, but I wrote the emails and saved them as a Draft to be sent out during regular scheduled hours, never on off hours. Clients sometimes notice the time sent and they would start sending their requests out in evenings and on weekends, but I didn’t immediately answer them then.
As for the phone, some clients have called me in off hours, but I made it clear to them that business calls are accepted only during regular business hours.
Now when I take time off, I close the office door and turn off the computer. I still secretly check emails which go through my Blackberry (but rarely if ever respond) during evenings and weekends.
I do client work during those business hours and set aside a couple of weeknights and some weekend time to devote to my work “on” my business
In that way, I have found more clients respect my time, and I can have some downtime guilt free.