Working from home is everyone’s dream, right? Having your morning coffee in your PJs while you check your email and sales stats is the best job ever. But, this ideal world will not be all that it is cracked up to be if you lack the discipline to stay focused. And that is what I thought when I started blogging. But what people don’t understand just because I work from home, I have all this free time and could just drop everything for lunch etc. That isn’t true. If anything I have to be on a stricter schedule and manage my time wisely or I will never get anything done.
When you tell your friends that you are working from home, their first image of you is sitting in your PJs and staring at a computer screen. They think that this is just another way of saying that you are on a “permanent vacation.” It’s not true but you could be proving them right when you have no control over your business day.
One of the biggest drawbacks to working at home is that home and work life seems to run together. Learn to avoid this with a touch of restraint and a plan for taking charge of your daily schedule.
Five Tips to Help You as You Work from Home
1. Know your personality – Do you have the type of personality that is organized and motivated? The situation where you are the boss is more manageable that way. If you tend to procrastinate or get distracted, a more stringent schedule is going to help you keep on task. And I have just that.
2. Choose a time to start work – Leisurely walking over to your computer and sitting down at different times each day doesn’t seem like work at all. Get into the right frame of mind with a definite start and ending time to your work day each day. I try to start after Gracie goes to school and finish before she gets home.
3. Separate your work space – Even if it is just a half of a room where you have your home office, avoid filling your space with anything that is not work related. When you come to this area, you are ready for business and nothing but. Maintain the separation to assist with focusing on the tasks at hand. I actually I have several spots that are set up for just that.
4. Take a regular break – In the office, employers are required to give employees 15-minute breaks and a lunch period. Observing this at home can break up the day and also foster more discipline in your day. Use that time to attend to small chores, make personal phone calls and rest your brain for a few minutes (even if it is to watch an episode of Blue Bloods, you know how I love those Wahlberg boys). And maybe even just to get away from eye strain and back and neck pain.
5. Create a task list – When you are sitting at your desk is not the time to decide what you will do that day. The last task for each business day is to create a list of needed tasks for the next day. With a definite list of business goals, you are more likely to stay engaged in business for the required time. I have a printable to do list that I made that I use every day.
Working from home might seem like the dream job but it can quickly turn into a nightmare when control goes out the window.