If you attempt to kid yourself into thinking that working from home is easy, you are simply fooling yourself—and possibly setting yourself up for failure. A successful work from home career takes effort and determination—not to mention a lot of work. There are some items you can implement from the very beginning that will set the framework for your from home career and start you off on the right path.
1. Set up an established work-space.
If you have designated a particular area as your workspace, you should. You want your work from home area to mimic that of an actual work environment, which will offer less distractions and help you feel like you are “at work”. Fill your home office with items that you need to complete your daily work routine—such as work related supplies and reference materials or books. Piling files and materials on your couch, while you rest comfortably with your laptop, may not create the perfect work environment.
2. Stay organized.
Organization is key in any business environment—whether it is in the home or outside of the home. When you have a work from home business or job, you may have to work a little harder at your organizational skills to stay on top of your game. While working from home, your “work” is always accessible and can even distract you from your home duties—, which also works in the reverse. Keep your work, and your work area, organized and separate from your living area.
3. Schedule your day.
Many individuals may balk at this idea; however, scheduling is crucial for work from home success. If you schedule the different aspects of your day—and keep set business hours—you will find that it is easier to avoid distractions and get lost in doing laundry or your favorite daytime television show. Set a schedule, stick to it, save the laundry for before— or after work—, and do not forget to set the DVR to tape your favorite shows.
4. Avoid Distractions.
While I have covered this topic in some of the above tips, I feel the need to give avoiding distractions its own space among the crucial tips to being successful at home. When you are working from home, distractions constantly surround you. You may be distracted by laundry and housework, television, Facebook, your favorite website or your favorite book (not picking my favorite book up every hour is a challenge for me). If you truly cannot stay away from these things during your workday, work your most important distractions into your schedule. If you frequent Facebook, reward yourself with 15 or 20 minutes of Facebook time after completing 2 or 3 hours of work. If housework just has to be done, schedule 30 minutes or an hour of housework in the middle of your day. While it is truly best to stave off all distractions, giving yourself a little leeway may help you be more productive.
5. Program breaks into your schedule.
Working consistently for hours on end can be tiring both mentally and physically. Ensure that you are taking a few minutes, at least 3 times per workday, to get away from your computer and your work. While you may choose to use one of the distractions we talked about above as your break, I would suggest actually taking a few minutes to walk away from it all and unwind your mind. Fix yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and sit in a comfortable chair for 5 or 10 minutes. You want to ensure you are not tiring yourself out during the day, or you may become less productive.
What are some effective tips that you use in building your successful work from home career? Please leave a comment and let me know.