Working from home has many advantages but has it’s disadvantages, as well. The most obvious challenge is that you are in the comfort of your own home and it is easy to be deceived by motions of working. You can assume a laid back approach while working and achieve less than you normally would when having to produce work at the office. The vital force that should drive you to work consistently, even when you are at home, is the delivery of quality work expected from you from your customers and potential customers. Set the bar high.
The next challenge is finding a balance between work at home and the home life. Most importantly, you need to be able to separate the two. Below are some tips to get yourself motivated and become more successful with your work at home.
When at home, there are several responsibilities to maintain. Juggling those responsibilities is more difficult with the addition of work priorities. With several things to attend to, it is easy to compromise your work and place that on the last rung of priorities. Try to create a boundary of when you need to work and when you must cater to all the other tasks at home. The key is balance. Work when you need to work and do other things when it is time for that. That may most times require some scheduling. No it’s not a stone set schedule but perhaps an general routine like Mondays, Wednesday and Friday you work three hours in the AM. It may be 5-8 or 9-11. It also may be an hour then a half hour break then another hour and so on. It matters little what the routine is and how rigid or flexible it is but whether it is followed consistently.
Come Up With A Plan
The best way to come up with a solid plan is to break them down into short- and long-term plans. Here is how you can approach each one.
Short-term plans: Before starting your daily work, determine what tasks you need to accomplish. This will allow you to allocate how much time is allowed for each one, so as not to forsake other necessary tasks. If possible, do this daily planning method a week ahead. At the very least the night before each work day have your list out and check it over so you know as soon as you get started what you are doing. This takes away the need to check email first thing. How many times have you sat at your desk dictated by a matter that seems urgent through an email you opened early that morning? It most likely sidelined your plans because it became bigger than the planned time to read your email. That email customer could have waited an additional hour while you gave your other tasks priority. Do you see how a side track can happen very subtly?
Long-term plans: Every month, take time to review your business. Examine the possibility of growth and adding up more ideas to help your business thrive and grow. Since the market is continually evolving, you have to evolve with it as well. This is also your opportunity to assess where your business is headed to and what you can do to improve it further. I like to do this at least annually. If you don’t know where you’ve been you certainly can’t see the road ahead. No one wants to go around in circles.
Hire a Virtual or Real Life Assistant
You can opt to hire help from people who will attend to different areas of your work. Whether it is accounting, bookkeeping, packing, scheduling appointments for inventory acquisition, scouting help, and so on, you will find that it is worth the investment. This person should be able to provide you with more organization and ultimately together you will produce more work in the same amount of time.
If you are concerned about propriety information being stolen check into your legal rights. There are contracts where one can protect themselves from such nightmares. That said, if you hire an “employee minded” friend or family member it’s unlikely you’re going to turn that person into a motivated and threatening online seller.
Pace Yourself Well
Never be too hard on yourself. When you become your own boss, it could either be a positive or negative thing. You can tend to relax too much and forsake work while surfing or checking email. Or, you can overwork yourself. When working at home it is very easy to slip into the office while thinking you will just do a three minute email and wind up spending an hour answering customer questions while your family waits for you at the dinner table. Be mindful of your off time and stay off. Some work at home folks appreciate the office door. They close the door at the end of the work schedule for the day and don’t look back. I have found that to be most ideal.
After every accomplished task, take time to relax. A small reward may help offset the feeling of working all of the time and give you a mental refreshing. Taking needed breaks and reward yourself to revive and gather enough strength needed to complete the next set of tasks. By doing this, you will notice that you produce better quality work.
It’s important to remember that we all have only so many hours in the day. The temptation of any entrepreneur is to either work incessantly or flit the hours away. Be sure to plan well, stay disciplined, hire out the mundane tasks and enjoy your time off. This will ensure your ultimate success in business.