11/18/2013 11:11 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Managing Your Time at the Home Office

In my practice, I've discovered that a majority of the people coming to me these days are working remotely from a home base. The economy, the Internet and social media have changed the way we approach work. Many welcome the opportunity to work from home to cut commuting and to be able to spend extra time in their personal life. But while the new wave of employers may be saving on desk space, are you really garnishing more free time?

Ask yourself: When do I clock in and clock out of my workday? Chances are you probably never actually do either of those things. The convenience of tablets and smart phones has changed the way the business day is structured. That 9-5 job can easily turn into working around the clock, in your pajamas, with very little patience or time for family or anything else.

I am up against this myself as I split my business between my metaphysical center and a home office. When I am at my home base, I strive to balance my days by applying some rules to arrange my time so it works for me, while I work for my paycheck. Consider the following as a different way to look at your day.

1. Keep a time chart of when you intend to start and end your actual work day and respect it.

2. Be dressed and ready to work at your desk and treat it as you would any sacred space you work in. Make those family and friends aware of when you work and provide them with the best times for socializing with you.

3. Keep your personal day separate from your business day. If you use social media, focus on business tweeting and posting until after hours.

4. Be sure to take your lunchtimes and break times and do not skip them. Make sure they take you away from the computer screens and the work environment. Instead of looking at a virtual tree, get out and up and into nature, or open a window and gaze at the energy of the real one in front of you.

5. Once you clock out of your day, use your off time by actually being away from your computer. No matter whom you are with or where you are, it's important to actually focus on that person and that place.

By structuring your work day so that you are clocking in and out, you are opening yourself up to a more productive lifestyle and, ultimately, more free time to spend the way you wish.