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Managing Interruptions During Business Time

Let Family Members Know You Are Not Available to Chat During Business Time

If you run or operate a small business from home, you may find your time is often interrupted by unexpected phone calls from family members who just “want to chat.” This can be a very frustrating experience for someone that relies on their business to ensure their financial stability and success. If this describes a situation that you have been faced with, or are currently experiencing, rest assured you are not alone. You don’t have to suffer, however. In this article I will show you how you CAN have a backbone and let family members know you’re not available to chat on the phone, with little to no conflict.

If you find yourself needing to reiterate to family members that you can’t just stop and chat anytime you feel like it during your work time, it’s probably best to send a subtle message at first. One way to do this, after you’ve explained it to them that is, is to attach an answering machine or voice mail to the line. Then, and this is the hard part I know, when the phone rings, regardless of what the Caller ID displays, avoid the temptation to answer it. Allow the answering machine to pick up the call.

If you have a machine that you can hear the message a caller leaves as they are leaving it, resist the urge of picking up when someone leaves a message that they claim to be important. Everyone has something “important” to talk about, but not all topics are significant enough to interfere with your daily routine and achieving success.

If you find that this is a hard task to accomplish or just not possible, have voice mail added to your line so that you don’t have to hear the message right away. Then set a specific time each day to check the messages and return calls as necessary.

While we hope this is enough to get the point across, sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way with some friends and family. If you find after a certain amount of time that you have not received the peace and quiet you have to have during work time, it may be time to sit down and have a talk with these individuals.

It is often natural for those we are close with to take for granted the fact that you work from home. Especially if they don’t understand what you do or have never been in a situation where someone they knew ran their own business from their home office. They automatically assume that since you are home, you must be available at any time. Then there are those who realize you are actually working, but they may believe that you have more flexibility in your schedule than you do so they don’t think about things such as productivity and allotted time for certain tasks, including telephone chats.

One way that may benefit both you and those looking for a friendly conversation may be to give everyone a set time frame in which they can call you. This is one way to get your point across without making anyone feel like you are shunning them.

There will more than likely come a point in which, despite your previous attempts to get family members to call during certain hours, you will be receiving calls outside of those hours. If this happens, you have to be certain to let them know, in a way that they understand, that they are interfering with your overall productivity, as well as the way you make money to support yourself and your family. Remind them that you would not call them on their job unless it was an emergency and that you would like them to show the same respect for your work.

It may come to the point in which you really have to get point blank with your family members. Let them know, however, that you enjoy talking to them on the phone but that there are certain times during the day that are more appropriate than others. Eventually it will sink in!

It can be hard to tell those you love that you are unable to chat on the phone during the time that you are working. However, it is something that you will need to come to terms with and do for the success of your business. In the end it will be beneficial and everyone will come around.

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