Working From Home: How to Make it ProductiveApril 1, 2020
For a lot of people, their ultimate dream is to escape from the rat race and work from home. To some people who are yet to achieve this dream, it has turned into a nightmare for them! With the everyday stress of work and commuting, working from home appears to be the way out for many people. But it is not as easy and relaxing as it sounds. If you are seriously thinking about setting up a business on your own and working from home, you need to know what the pitfalls are and what you can do to avoid them.
Understand Your Motivation
It can be too tempting to stay in bed for a little longer when you are working from home. The need to get up very early and beat the early morning traffic to be at work by 8.00 a.m. is absent when you only have to work a short distance to your new place of work.
If you are to be effective in your new work environment, you have to find a motivator which is sufficiently strong to get you up and about and at your desk by your appointed time. To know what your motivation is, cast your mind back to why you wanted to work from home in the first place. Was it to spend more time with the family? Or was it to give you the freedom to pursue other interests?
If you do not find these strong enough to get you out of bed, find a financial reason. Visualise you and your family being thrown out of your house because you could not meet up the rent or mortgage payment! Keep this image in mind and the next time you find yourself staring at the bedroom ceiling, raise this image and you will quickly find yourself at your desk!
Establish a Routine
We are all creatures of habit and a set routine can help keep us motivated and focused on the job at hand. Set a resumption time, a tea break and lunch break or yourself. A set routine can help you settle into your new role much more quickly than a let-us-see what happens today approach. Without a working schedule, which includes a finite finishing time to the day, your working day will be unfocused and could stretch late into the night, ending whatever social life you may have.
You Are All Alone
Working from home can be a lonely enterprise. As human beings, we are born to seek and keep contact with other people. In an office environment, there are daily contacts, quick 10-minute chats at the coffee machine finding out what colleagues did the night before, and someone to celebrate a big sale with. All of this is critical to making our lives feel complete; yet, this is absent from a home-based business.
To overcome this feeling of isolation, which will be especially pronounced during your early months, you must establish a network of people who are in the same position as you are. Agree that you will talk on the phone at least twice a week, and arrange to have lunch or a quick coffee once every two weeks. Your family members may not be the right people to discuss a business problem with, so you have to find someone else who can relate to your successes and difficulties.
Get Out of The House
Staying in the house from Monday through Friday without seeing the light of day is not good for your health or state of mind. You might be so focused on your work that you persuade yourself that you cannot afford the time to go out of the house. That is a false economy. You have to schedule a time to go out and experience a different environment.
As well as meeting your fellow homeworkers for a regular get together, join a health club, go for a swim once or twice a week, go to the cinema, check out your local Business Directory to see what programmes they are running; anything to get you out of the house! Don’t get stuck into only working, eating and sleeping at home.
Today, you can do most work-related tasks away from your home office. Once your business is established, invest in a laptop and a good mobile phone. Armed with these devices, you can take your office with you and work from anywhere. It does not matter where, as long as you are out of the house and be around other people.
Create an Office
If you are used to working in a formal office environment all your working life, switching to the kitchen table or guestroom can be an undesirable distraction. To give you the needed discipline and focus, choose a part of the house as your office. If you have a spare room or study, that is even better. Buy an office desk and chair, filing cabinet and other office-style stationery. Remove all family and home-related items. This will tell your mind that you are at work and not at home.
In the traditional office, you have colleagues and clients visiting you who make your work area to get disorderly. At home, it is different. Unless you are expecting clients regularly, then it is too easy to allow your paperwork and filing to get out of hand. The saying that a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind is true. You will not be productive unless you are organised. Buy filing cabinets, box files, waste bin and shelves, so that everything is in place.
Getting organised for efficiency also includes setting some ground rules for the family. They must understand that you are at work and not at their beck and call for everything that needs to be done. Be firm. Say no when it is necessary. Do not allow anything to get in the way of your business success.
Working from home can be a good and liberating experience, yet, it can also be dangerous unless handled properly. Before embarking on your home-based business, take time to plan how you are going to go about the transition. If done correctly, working from home can be a very good alternative to the daily chores of the office.