How to look after yourself when working at home as an entrepreneur or online business owner. 

 

As an entrepreneur and online business owner you’ll be working many hours by yourself.  

Especially when you first start out, there are no colleagues to bounce ideas off of and no boss giving you instructions. 

It’s just you. And whether you succeed or not, is all down to you. 

This can lead to a lot of pressure and no doubt you will have days where you don’t see how to move forward or how to overcome that certain obstacle.  

Are you ever going to succeed at this? Are you ever going to get these customers you are looking for? 

These times will come for most entrepreneurs and online business owners in one way or another. The times when things are just not quite working out how you hoped or planned.  

The business owners who get through these challenges quickly, are the ones that are focused and look after themselves.  

This is so important! 

There are some really easy to implement steps and habits you can adopt, so you become one of those super focused business owners! 

How to look after yourself when working at home as an entrepreneur or online business owner. 

how to look after yourself when working from home

How to Look After Yourself when Working from Home

 1. Drink lots of Water 

I know it sounds quite obvious but sometimes it seems easier to grab a coffee rather than sipping some water. 

The benefits of drinking plenty of water are well documented. It makes your thoughts clear and keeps you energized. Just what you need for a busy day working on your business.   

Just mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1–3%) can impair energy levels, impair mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance. (source healthline) 

So, keep that water bottle within reach and top it up often! 

 

2. Keep an Eye on your Posture

I have grouped posture and workspace together as they are very much interlinked.

Hours and hours behind the computer is not going to do you much good. Other than building your business that is!

If you don’t be careful you will end up with backpain and shoulder and neck problems.

My posture was really something I needed to work on, and I found that my back and shoulder pain was mainly due to my (bad) set up.

Make sure you sit up straight, with your chair at the right angle and height.

The same goes for your desk and your computer screen.

 How to Look After Yourself when Working from Home

3. Set up a good Workstation

It’s super cool that many budding entrepreneurs start their business around the kitchen table, however, as soon as you have the possibility, create a good work station for yourself. 

You should be able to sit directly in front of your computer screen, and if the screen is too low, put some large books under the monitor to ‘prop it up’. 

You don’t want to be looking down. Which by the way is often the problem with using a laptop. You might want to invest in a second screen which you can attach to your laptop and which you can adjust to the correct height. 

Invest in a good computer chair as well. This doesn’t need to be some super expensive chair, however it needs to be comfortable, should be able to change height and have a good back rest. Preferably you also want arm rests which are either high or adjustable. 

Especially if you sit behind your desk for hours on end. 

Make sure you have enough space on your desk to put your arms on when typing. If you can get a deep desk or a corner desk. 

The more space you have for your arms when typing, the more comfortable it will be. 

I personally like a little footstool under my desk as well as it makes me automatically sit up straight. 

 

 

How to Look After Yourself when Working from Home

4. Get up and Move

When you are busy and in the middle of a big project, time flies and it could be hours before you get up from your chair to make a quick cup of tea or run to the loo. 

While you think you get more done if you just keep going, you will probably regret it by being stiff and sore at the end of your workday. 

I know this has happened many times to me and getting up from your chair having to stretch to get the blood flowing, doesn’t feel too great. 

So now I get every 55 minutes, regardless of what I am doing. I have a 5 minute break which gives me time adjust my eyes and move my body around. 

I do some basic stretches, fill up my water bottle, walk around the house or get some fresh air in the garden. 

  

It is so simple, though it took me a while to get it right. I would often be in the middle of something and not wanting to leave the project right then. 

That of course would lead to another hour behind my screen without getting up. 

The solution came to me one day when talking to my friend about this. 

And it’s so simple and effective! 

I time myself on my projects. As simple as that. 

Rather than just working and typing away, jumping from task to task, I now plan ahead and time the task. 

If it is a large task, I know that I will have a 5 minute break every hour and work around it. 

Big tasks are started fresh after my break and smaller ones towards the break. This way, I can manage my time better, be more productive and have more breaks, which my health thanks me for. 

 

It is so simple, though it took me a while to get it right. I would often be in the middle of something and not wanting to leave the project right then.

That ofcourse would lead to another hour behind my screen without getting up.

The solution came to me one day when talking to my friend about this.

And it’s so simple and effective!

I time myself on my projects. As simple as that.

Rather than just working and typing away, jumping from task to task, I now plan ahead and time the task.

If it is a large task, I know that I will have a 5 minute break every hour and work around it.

Big takss are started fresh after my break and smaller ones towards the break. This way, I can manage my time better, be more productive and have more breaks, which my health thanks me for.

 

5. Reduce Stress by Making Plans and Lists

Now this is a hard one as stress means something different to everyone. 

For me personally, I find it stressful when I feel overwhelmed as there are so many things I need or want to do within my business, and I don’t know where to start. 

It’s basically not knowing where to start first. 

To reduce my stress, I create a plan and then create lists. 

My plans are monthly, yearly and long term (5 years). 

By making plans, I only include big things that need to be done to move my business forward and it keeps it clear in my head what I want to achieve and where I’m heading. 

Learn the skill of making short and long term plans for your business and sticking to them.  

From these plans, I create lists, both weekly and daily. 

Sometimes there can be 20 or 30 tasks on these lists but it’s important to get these tasks, jobs and ideas out of my head as they will interfere with my daily work and stop me from thinking clearly. They also give me this stressful feeling of ‘I’ve got so many things to do, where do I start?!!’ 

Of course, it’s impossible to do all the tasks on my lists, and that is fine.
Because if you clearly look at your list, you can clearly see the things which NEED to be done, the things which MAKE A BIG IMPACT and the many TRIVIAL tasks which will take up a lot of time but won’t make a difference to your business or income. 

Creating lists really focusses me on the tasks ahead. 

And when I’ve made a list (sometimes with 20 or 30 tasks on it) I can see quite quickly what really needs to be done. I then do these tasks before I do anything else. 

Be ruthless! You don’t have to do 20 things to feel like you have achieved something. 

Often, it’s doing that one job you’ve been putting off for weeks which gives you the biggest reward. 

Read more on achieving your goals with creating lists here. 

 

 How to Look After Yourself when Working from Home

6. Charge the Right Amount

To keep motivated, to keep stress down and to avoid becoming overworked, it’s important to set boundaries with your clients and to be clear in your communication.  

Clear communication in writing ensures everyone knows what to expect and what the cost is of what is offered.  

When you offer to do a job, for example build a website or to manage a social media account, be clear what is included and what the extra costs are if the job changes.  

There are different ways of structuring jobs: 

  • project based set price 
  • hourly rate 
  • % Of income generated for client 

For example, many websites are built on a fixed price, though many large businesses take on designers for projects on hourly rates or day rates.  

Many marketing agencies don’t charge for a marketing campaign but agree a percentage of the sales which is generated from the campaign. This is often many times larger than a set price, however, there is no risk to the client which makes it attractive. 

Be clear with your pricing and know your worth.  

Many new business owners under charge and end up doing a lot of work for a small amount.  

Make sure you know your worth especially in the beginning! Don’t be scared to increase your price once you have more experience either.  

It can be hard in the beginning to know what you should charge for your services, and when you research what other businesses charge for their services, you often find a large price range.  

Never undercharge yourself and never be overly optimistic with how long jobs for customers take, especially when you offer services.  

Always calculate in extra time for when things go wrong, take longer or need to be changed. 

7.Network and Socialise

Your mental health is also very important and it can be very lonely when you work at home on your own, even when you talk to other people every so often. 

It can also be hard to be the one person making all the decisions for the business when it’s just you doing all the work. You know where you are heading, but there is a long way to go. 

I have found it very helpful to do courses to help me in my business for several reasons: 

  • It gives me CONFINDENCE to master a new skill which helps me achieve my goals 
  • My business grows quicker because I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, which is ALWAYS the long and painful route 
  • I find like-minded people who are in a similar position to me 
  • I can make contacts with who I can partner up or who I can use to do work for me, or for who I can do work 

It’s also good to network with other business owners in your area as well as online.

While this can be daunting at first and possibly out of your comfort zone, as it was for me, it can be very beneficial both for your mental health as well as your social life! 

 

I hope this post in which I talk about how to look after yourself when working from home has been helpful. 

Let me know what helps you keep healthy when working from home.