What does it take to successfully work from home? Though this opportunity provides a lot of freedom and flexibility, it comes with specific challenges. You’ll have to adjust to its particulars and forget about the 9 to 5 work routine.
Successful work from home practices require discipline. It’s also essential to distinguish between your personal and professional life – the distinction between the two can be difficult to make after some time but it is the one that sets successful professionals apart.
I’ve been operating a home-based business over the past three years. This period was characterized by several challenging phases. I had to deal with the lack of face-to-face contact with coworkers and I also had to stop myself from working for more than 14 hours per day. I reached a simple conclusion based on these early mistakes – there have to be guidelines and strictly-established practices.
Are you eager to make the work from home transition? Here are several practices you’ll need to incorporate in your everyday routine, if you want to be successful and make the most of the opportunity.
Find Your Work Space
You don’t need to have an expensive home office but you should designate a home area solely for work. Your work space will make it easier for you to concentrate and dedicate your time to professional activities.
Choose a peaceful place that will help you to distance yourself from the distractions at home.
Getting in your home office should feel like going to work. If you stay in bed with your laptop, you’ll find it rather difficult to get motivated and to do just work. Get dressed, sit on your desk and try to forget that you’re at home.
Deal with Distractions and Set Limits
Successful work from home involves the ability to distance yourself from the typical distractions.
Your pets, your kids and your significant other can all contribute to decreased productivity. Make sure that the entire family is on board. When you’re working, you’re not a parent or a wife. You’re at your office and everybody should learn to respect that.
Leave chores, shopping and spending time with your loved ones for the hours after you’re done working. It’s best to keep your family out of the home office. Otherwise, you’ll be incapable of focusing and being productive.
Turn the TV off. Deal with the typical noises and don’t answer your home phone. Many beginners find it impossible to accomplish those. With time, you’ll figure out which obstacles stand in the way and you’ll come up with a routine enabling you to deal with those hindrances.
Stick to a Certain Number of Work Hours
Though work from home is connected to a lot of flexibility, you will still need to dedicate a certain number of hours to work each day.
Treat your home business like a business. It’s not a leisure time activity or a hobby. This is incredibly important for the individuals that plan to earn full-time income from home. For some, five hours per day are sufficient to earn a living. Others dedicate at least eight hours per day to doing their job. You may have to increase or decrease the number of hours depending on work volume. Still, figure out what the absolute minimum is and stick to it on a daily basis. If you don’t have a project to complete on the particular day, you can dedicate the time to prospecting and marketing.
Look for Socialization Opportunities Outside of Work
Many individuals that work from home miss the socialization opportunities that the office provides.
To be productive and happy, you should look actively for socialization options out of your work. Go to the local gym, join an interest group or meet with friends. Have a date night with your significant other at least once per week.
Seek socialization opportunities actively. Otherwise, you may experience loneliness and frustration with your new lifestyle. Most freelancers experience some confusion and dissatisfaction during the adjustment process. If you aren’t looking for socialization opportunities, you may end up spending all of your time at home. Quality encounters with people that you love will enable you to accomplish that balance and they’ll also make you more productive at work.
The Importance of Breaks
Though you need to dedicate a certain number of hours to work, you’ll still need those regular breaks.
Successful work from home practices involve standing up and going out every now and then. Don’t sit in front of the computer when you feel tired. It’s much better to take a short walk in the park than to force yourself to keep working. If you don’t take regular breaks, you’ll probably deliver sub-par work.
Eat your lunch outside or make a nice meal at home. Don’t eat it in front of the computer. An hour-long lunch break is a great opportunity for diversifying the daily routine and enjoying a smoother process.
Plan for the Next Day, Next Week, Next Month
Use project management software to keep track of your work.
You need to have a good idea about the work that you need to do the next day and the next week. It’s best to come up with a plan and a routine. Organizing your work day in advance will make you more productive and enable you to complete all of the important tasks within a shorter period of time.
Successful Work from Home Practices – Bonus Tip
To successfully work from home, you will also need to take good care of your health. Many individuals that launch their own business tend to spend excessive amounts of time on doing their job. Earnings are entirely dependent on individual effort, which is why it may be difficult to find the balance.
Eat healthy meals and exercise. Go for a jog in the morning before getting started with work. Otherwise, you will succumb to chronic stress and find it incredibly difficult to keep going and keep working at the same pace.
Your personal happiness and satisfaction with the work that you do are much more important than earnings. If you feel inspired and happy, you will be capable of completing even the most challenging project.
Do you need more information about how to successfully work from home? My book How to Make Money Online: The Secrets of Starting Your Own Web Based Business contains tons of essential and practical information. You can find more information about the book and the ways to purchase it here.