Whether you work remotely for a company, freelance, or run your own business, working from home can be a blessing, or a curse depending on how you look at it! Here are a few working from home tips that will make this scenario a little easier and keep you productive too!
Getting laid off from my corporate job was one of the best things that’s happened to me. Seriously, not too many people are feeling giddy as security is escorting them out the door (and no, it wasn’t just me, the whole department was canned). I’d been dreaming of that moment for
months years and it finally happened!
I get that losing a job can be really scary and for some completely devastating, but it wasn’t for me. I was more than ready to go and happy to start some new ventures. It had nothing to do with not wanting to work anymore, in fact, I’ve never been busier than after I left my full-time corporate job!
While being your own boss can have benefits (unlimited sick days, no commute, etc.), it’s definitely not for everyone. I’ve got a few tips on how to make working from home a success.
Working from Home Tips
1. Get up
While I don’t technically have to be anywhere at a certain time most days, I still get up when my husband does, or earlier! I prepare for my day just as if I were headed off to work (because I am!). Once I had a child my life changed a bit (ha!) to match his schedule, so sleeping in is definitely not an option now!
2. Get dressed
The easiest thing in the world is to keep your pajamas on all day. And every now and then I do. But most days, even days when I know I’m not even leaving the house, I get dressed and ready as if I were headed to work.
My look is just a little more on the casual side now. I’m not sitting in my home office in a pencil skirt and heels, I can assure you. I admit I don’t put on makeup every day, but that’s really just because I like to give my skin a chance to breathe every now and then!
3. Set a schedule
And here you were all excited about not having a schedule, right? You can definitely play it that way, but more than likely, your day will get away from you and you’ll have spent six hours on one project and neglected a lot of things that actually need to be done.
When I made the decision to get more structure in my day I started off by listing out all the tasks I need to complete every week. Some tasks I tackle every day, and some only one day a week. I then break up each day into segments and fill in until all the tasks have a spot. (Getting a good planner is crucial!)
The schedule definitely isn’t set in stone so I can take off on a Wednesday morning to hit the dentist (boo) or the mall (yay!) as needed. I try to hold myself accountable for tasks and have an idea of what still needs to be done! This also sometimes means that I have to work on a weeknight or weekend to catch up, but so be it!
4. Turn off the TV
I do make the occasional exception, but for the most part, I sit at a desk or my dining room table to work with no TV on. I used to try to work sitting on the couch with some ridiculous Bravo or E! show on (for “background noise”, I’d say), but pretty soon I had lost an hour or two (or five) to the Kardashians or some Real Housewives. I’m much more productive if the TV stays off!
5. Stay Disciplined
Probably the most important thing I would stress for a successful work from home job is that you’ve got to stay disciplined, especially when you’re not accountable to anyone but yourself! It would be easy to spend half your day reading magazines and re-organizing the pantry, but if you want a successful home-based business you’ve got to do the work!
6. Know when to shut it off
I definitely haven’t mastered this one. Remember that old episode of Saved By the Bell when Zack has to call his workaholic Dad on his (gigantic) cell phone to say, “Is this the only way I can get through to you now?” Yeah, my husband does that occasionally to me. Sometimes you’ve just got to shut the computer down, put the phone away, and just be. The work will always be there tomorrow!
Again, working from home is definitely not for everyone. Some people would go crazy at just the thought of being in their house with sometimes limited human interaction. But if you can stay focused and are willing to put in the work it can be done!
Have some working from home tips that have helped you survive and thrive? We’d love to hear them! And if you think you’re ready to make the plunge and look for a new job? We can help with that too!
Originally published January 6, 2015