If you're starting a home office for your law practice, you'll hear a lot of tips for your practice, including picking practice areas, getting clients, and making money. However, you'll probably not hear too much advice regarding one of the most daunting obstacles of a home office -- staying sane.
There are some obvious struggles of starting a home office. After all, you'll need a spare space where you can work. You'll also need a space that is relatively quiet yet convenient to physical things like electric outlets and phone jacks.
But even if you have everything perfectly set up, there will more subtle challenges to deal with in a home office, like dealing with the quietness and solitude. Here are five tips to help you with these mental challenges of starting a home office, as reported by Sole Trader:
Working from Home, Does Not Mean Working Alone. Just because you have a home office, this does not mean you have to isolate yourself. If you can, find a mentor or other attorneys in your practice area you can bounce ideas off of. In this day and age, it is very easy to stay connected despite working in a home office.
Go Outside. One of the benefits of having a home office is that you can go outside when the weather is nice and take a long walk to work off stress. Many attorneys overcompensate and stay home all day working out of guilt for having a home office in the first place. Remember that a home office is a privilege and not a prison.
Stay Organized. If you've never worked alone, you may be amazed at the amount of record-keeping and paperwork involved with a law practice. Stay organized and don't let the piles accumulate in your home office.
Get Dressed as if Going to Work. Sometimes you have to look the part to play the part, even if no one will see you. You'd be amazed by the psychological effects of getting dressed and going to work -- even when going to work means going downstairs. If you sit in your pajamas all day, you may have trouble getting anything done.
Know When the Workday Starts and Ends. Demarcate your work hours. Again, lawyers tend to be workaholics. And with a home office many lawyers may find themselves working non-stop. Set work hours for yourself and try to stick with it.
There are a lot of unique challenges to starting a home office. Keep these five tips in mind and hopefully you'll at least stay sane as you deal with the remaining challenges of running a law practice.