Just Because I Work from Home I’m Not Always Up for a Lengthy Chat

New Home Office, by Zach Beauvais, via Flickr, CC 2.0Don’t get me wrong.

Anyone who knows me knows I love a chat

And if there’s anything I love better than a conversation it’s a good long conversation.

Sometimes that can happen serendipitously.

Say when a friend or colleague is in the neighbourhood or heading my way and calls to see if I’m up for a coffee and a chat. Or someone just decides it’s too long since we’ve spoken and calls me on the phone or Skype to catch up.

Usually I will seize the opportunity and put aside whatever I’m working on, on the basis that work will always be there and keeping connected with friends and colleagues has a high priority for me.

But sometimes it’s just not the right time

And when it’s not the right time, for instance when I have a project with a deadline, or I’ve just settled into something I’ve been delaying, I need to recognize that it’s not the right time and be prepared to say so.

Otherwise I’m not being honest with my friend or colleague, or with myself.

Isn’t that pretty obvious?

Well, logically it is. But we are not entirely (or mainly?) logical beings.

Unless you like the idea of being a hermit and having as little direct contact with others than is absolutely necessary, if you work from home there will be a few factors exercising an emotional pull towards just dropping everything else and giving up an hour or so for the catch up chat.

Emotion-based factors for taking the line of least resistance

I’m thinking of the following:

  • From the way friends or colleagues have communicated in the past, you get the sense that they don’t take seriously enough your having a business from home, so you guess they might feel snubbed if you say no on this occasion and you don’t want to handle the fallout from that.
  • Being your own boss you don’t have to explain to anyone else why you punched a hole in your day’s productivity.

These are emotion-based reasons for taking the line of least resistance, even when the more responsible you tells you to say no, or no, not today.

Another one, which I think for me is the strongest, is this:

  • A sense of isolation is one of the key challenges in working from home, and this offer of a chat is a chance to break that.

So I need to recognize that and deal with it, as with any other reasons or feelings that get in the way of my taking what I know is the better course of action on this particular occasion, and saying sorry, no can do.

But adding, “today”.

Taking our business seriously will sometimes mean having to let others know that we do

3 key challenges in running a business from home screenshotWhile we might be concerned that the other person’s nose will be out of joint, we need to take our own business seriously enough to be able to say no sometimes. Hopefully they will respect that.

Then of course we can schedule another time.

In a post last week on the MYOB blog The Pulse I wrote about dealing with the challenge of the sense of isolation and other key challenges of running a business from home.

How do you feel about such unexpected interruptions? And what strategies do you use to deal with them?

Image credit: New Home Office, Zach Beauvais, Flickr, CC2.0

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.

Comments

  1. You pose some useful information to the home business person, as well as the small business person. Each person faces some very difficult obstacles and having an orderly area while removing emotional decisions will help make wiser choices. At the same time, if you have a tendency to “chat” a bit does not necessarily make a bad business man/woman. The gift of gab has brought me business in the past and I foresee it bring in more business in the near future. Cheers!

  2. Theresa Key says:

    When we set up our home office we establish the authentic home business. It’s not just a hobby it is real. For so many who get started without any foundation…it might be a great exercise to simply set up the home office first and then find an opportunity.