Lifestyle Issues Tips

Read these 12 Lifestyle Issues Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Office tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Can I get away, without really getting away?

Free Cell

I am most grateful to Microsoft for a little utility program called "Free Cell" in their Windows programs. There are 32,000 possible games, and I haven't even come close to scratching the surface of those, yet Free Cell has provided me with many, many hours of diversions from the frustrations of work.

How can I find the positive elements in a bad situation?

Look for positives among the negatives

I once had lunch once with David Ogden Stires, "Major Winchester" from the old M*A*S*H program. His advice: "Nothing is totally worthless, it can always be used as a bad example." I'd take that further; you can always find something positive out of a negative experience. After the recent 9/11 attack, my wife, a former army sergeant, looked into joining the reserves as a way of helping the country. She started walking/jogging to get in shape. And I started going with her. It was a remarkable opportunity for us to get even closer in our relationship.

What should I do when I´m waiting for new work to be assigned?

You can do it!

I've talked recently with a friend of mine, who is making the transition from "job" to "home office business owner." After about six months in business, he's having his frustrations. He had a brief flurry of work, which were the results of his intense marketing efforts. Then he finished the work, sent the invoices, and now he's waiting for the checks to arrive. But one thing he's not doing, is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.

Instead, he's putting his nose to the grindstone, and cranking up those same marketing efforts that brought in his first round of work. With a little hard effort and belt-tightening, he's convinced he's going to make it through. I'll let you know how he's doing.

What do you do when a kid screams and you´re on the phone?

Small home, small children

We own a small home, and consequently my home office is in a very public area of the house. And this has happened more often than I've liked: I'm on the phone with the CEO or Marketing VP of a client company, and at that moment, one of my sons has decided to put a good tease on my three year old daughter.

There's no good way to undo that; however, I do often remind my clients that I work from home, the kids live here, and the quality of my work speaks for itself. (A happy subcontractor is a good subcontractor!)

What´s a good Mac game site?


Games don't help the productivity level much, but they sure do help you blow off steam! If you own a Mac, check out They have a TON of fabulous shareware games that can keep your mind off your frustrations for hours.

How much Free Cell is good for you?

The Bane of the Home Office

As of November 15, 2001, here are my current Free Cell statistics:

Won: 2414
Lost: 1778
Total: 58%

There's not much more to say about that.

When should I take a walk?

Take a walk

The good thing about working at home is that you can control your own time. When you feel the pressures of time getting to you, take a walk. It's a great way to blow of steam, plus it's a great form of exercise!

How do I deal with frustrations?

No place like home

When I get frustrated that the kids are making too much noise, I try to remind myself that there really is no place like home, that they're all home and safe, and that I really have a good thing compared with all those folks who have to put up with traffic, annoying bosses, and now, threats of terror in the workplace.

What´s the best way to deal with slow cash flow?

The biggest frustration

As a home office business owner, my biggest frustration by far is poor cash flow. The best way I've found to deal with that is to be pre-emptive in my sales, and in fact the whole way I have structured my business. Over the years, I've dealt with slow cash flow by trying to sell (and succeeding, to some degree), larger, multi-part projects that recur on a regular basis.

How do I deal with an unreasonable customer?

Unreasonable client or customer?

Is a client or customer making unreasonable demands? That old saying is true: "the customer is always right." If you can't give them what they want, give them their money back. It may seem like a costly thing to do, but the real value is in the good will you buy with that extra effort, or with the refund money. A good name is worth more than gold; you never know how it will come back to benefit you in the future.

How do you deal with "claustrophobia," being home all the time?


Do people ever ask you, "don't you get claustrophobia, being at home all the time?" I tell them, "of course I do." But then I put on my shoes, go out for a walk, any time of the work day, and nobody ever harps on me for wasting time. Or I take my wife out to lunch.

Who can inspire me when I´m down?

For Inspiration: Visit a Tiny Giant

Does "going it alone" seem like a frightening prospect sometimes? Check out - here's a person who's been on his own for more than 30 years.

Chances are, he's had to face obstacles far greater than you or I have ever had to face. Yet he's built a career of his own that would make most people quite envious. Check out his story, at

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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.