For some reason, working at home to many people means you’ll be able to relax, work when you want and bake potpourri on the stove.
For the people who do work at home, you know this to be extremely untrue. In fact, you don’t even have time to bake potpourri on the weekends when you’re not working.
Working at home takes a lot of time, dedication and focus. Whether you’re running your own business, a startup founder or simply a freelancer, the workload can still be as overwhelming as it was at the office.
There are four secrets to working at home successfully that every entrepreneur should know.
Start a Normal Work Day
As tempting as it sounds to wake up slowly, enjoy a nice cup of coffee and watch a little bit of television, working at home should be no different than a regular day at the office.
Everyday should begin early and with a cup of coffee, if your taste buds require it –then off to the races. Hop in the shower to help wake yourself up and continue your morning routine like you would if you had to commute.
Once you find a routine that works for you, beginning your workload promptly at the same time every morning can ensure you will have a successful work day. If you get your body into the same schedule, allowing yourself to become distracted will be more difficult. If you do things different every day, then you may find it harder to bring yourself to get any work done.
Have an office
If you don’t have the extra space to necessarily dedicate a room to your office, a work space should be enough.
Having a specific area to work in can ensure that you’re only working in that area. For example, working in the living room where the television is located is not only distracting, but you will not associate that room with work. An office will allow you to change your mindset into work mode only and begin generating ideas in a quieter area.
It’s important not to engage in any other activities but work-related ones in your work space. Avoid playing computer games or texting on your cell phone – treat it like your office cubicle. The upside is that you can design it in any way you choose, so if your ideas flow more freely when you’re lounging in a hammock – invest in a hammock.
Keep in touch
It’s okay to take breaks. Sometimes working at home makes you feel disconnected from the world and while you may get a little bit extra done because you aren’t distracted by coworkers, it can be quite lonely.
Keep contact with the outside world as much as possible. Send emails to coworkers, employers or friends and family to keep in touch and see how things are going or what is going on at the office. Make phone calls to other people you know who may be working at home, or simply take a few minutes to make a phone call to a friend and get a little socialization going. All work and no play will drive you absolutely nuts.
Leave work at work
This may be more difficult to associate where work stays because you do work from home, but a dedicated office or work space is where it should remain.
It’s easy to work all through the day and night because you’re at home. You may simply think that taking an hour break every so often is enough to relax, but it isn’t. Once your work day has ended, close the door or shut the computer off and spend time with your family or do something for yourself. It’s a healthy part of living and you certainly don’t want to become a workaholic just because it’s convenient.