“We are independent, we are professional, we will never compromise our careers just because we are women, we are excellent managers and can perfectly manage home with work, our husbands help us equally in our house and family responsibilities…” No matter how much we console ourselves, we know it is difficult to manage work after marriage. But we also know that we have career ambitions! Working at home is one good option for you to fulfill your career ambitions with your family responsibilities. And that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on your career and take up a less demanding job. It is true that you are better managers and can manage work with home. But you must set some boundaries at home in order to give your hundred percent to both. Getting too much involved in house chores while working or vise versa might spoil both! Here are some ways to define the boundaries between work and family that make working at home more manageable and productive: 1. Make a list of what’s most important for you. Of course, it’s all important, but if you try to be specific, this task becomes easier. For example, you may believe it’s essential to be at school when your child’s performing in the school play, but don’t feel compelled to put your attendance in every field trip. There are probably some client emails and calls that are absolutely necessary to return immediately; others can wait. 2. Keep a log of your work tasks. This allows you to plan the amount of time needed to accomplish each activity. Break tasks down into time-bound steps and allot time durations during the day, when you can perform these tasks. For example, if your work involves writing, you can plan time for gathering information, reading your research, interviewing, outlining your article, writing your first draft, and editing. These tasks can be done while your child is away at school or is taking an afternoon nap. Then you will easily be able to write the full article in the evening. Identify tasks that require concentration and those you can accomplish with people around. Then schedule accordingly. 3. Schedule both work and family time. Include helping with homework and family outings. Make sure everything that’s possible to plan for is in your calendar. 4. Keep family space separate from work space. Ideally, work behind a door you can close. Also announce your "office hours" to your family. Be clear that you are not to be interrupted. Explain to your children when you will be available and why respecting your work time is important. 5. Find time for psychological transition. Commutation from office to home gives time for psychological transition from work to family. You too need to give this time to yourself. Schedule time to relax, meditate, read the newspaper and give yourself time to do things that allow you to unwind and refocus. 6. Consider separate phone lines. Consider having separate phone lines for work and home. Tell your family not to answer your business line and let your machine answer when you’re away from work. 7. Keep a regular work schedule. Whether you work in large blocks of time or go back and forth between work and family, try to keep consistent hours. This helps your family know what to expect when and maintain boundaries. 8. Delegate effectively. Stop trying to be a supermom or a superwoman. Why can’t your husband do the laundry sometimes? Why can’t you ask a friend to pick up a few items for you during her regular trip to the grocery store? 9. Build contacts with other work-at-home mothers. You need to be reminded that you are not alone – that other women are struggling with the same obstacles. They can also guide your to work efficiently as they share similar circumstances. And last, but not the least, they’ll provide you emotional support! 10. Learn to say "NO." This is very important to maintain your work-life balance. Do not take up extra chores, at home and for work, simply out of courtesy. We do not realize it, but it is very difficult for us to say ‘no’. We are brought up in society that has taught us to say ‘yes’ to whatever it decides, but says ‘no’ to whatever we decide!

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