Working from home can be rewarding and fun, yet it brings many challenges. It requires one to be disciplined, focused, and consistent (most of the time). It is not always easy.
I remember working in the corporate world and “wishing” I could work from home. I thought that would be a dream position..how easy that would be, I could accomplish more, and the convenience of not having to drive anywhere.
During the management years, I was given the opportunity to work from home at times, and I absolutely loved it. The down side: I seemed to work longer hours.
Six years later, I am working full time from home as an entrepreneur – virtual assistant….working long hours
I learned very quickly I had to establish and follow a few rules:
Don’t spend the day on the phone with family and friends- for that can be very distracting and you will accomplish much less.
Don’t have the television on, it is a distraction.
Plan my day and my intentions.
Don’t stress out, beat myself up if something for my business was not completed.
Create a schedule for housework and meals. Prioritize and make it happen. Set aside time for chores…daily, don’t let those things be a distraction.
Create time for joy – very important. Extremely important to have an outlet for fun. Most importantly is fitting the time in for it!
Be Confident – Working alone does not lend the opportunity for acknowledgement, feedback, or even an opportunity to brainstorm a few thoughts. There is something to be said for praise and water cooler conversation every now and then. On those days when things just aren’t flowing, it’s key to remember what skills you bring to the table, call a colleague and brainstorm. Don’t let negative energy creep in.
Have a routine…well, I fail at this, I must admit….Many days I do follow a routine to ensure everything is completed…but many times I fail at this. This is one of the things I do not beat myself up for, but to continue to strive to be consistent.
Be Organized..especially when I am not very focused. My organization pays off for me when I am not focused, as it helps me to remember and see things I need to get done. Being organized has saved me on many levels and still is key.
There are times I just need to get out of the house. I need to be in the company of others, different energy.
Honestly, during the past six months, I preferred NOT to work from home. I love spending days in Starbucks, Panera Bread, various spots with free WIFI!
Working in different environments has been great for creativity and energy. Eventually I am going to try coworking and see if that suits my style/personality better.
Working from home and accomplishing required tasks while including quality personal time takes skill. When others are involved in your life, live with you, there has to be communication and understanding that even though you are home, that does not mean instant housecleaner, errand runner, babysitter, etc.
I have had to train people (friends and family) that I am working during the day and not available for just anything. If there is something in particular, we need to schedule it like a vacation day.
Overall the experience and flexibility of working from home has allowed me to live in 4 different cities in the past year. It truly has taken some skill and planning to travel, not miss a commitment, – make money.
Most importantly, don’t approach the thought of working from home as easy, it takes energy and commitment to stay consistent.