One of the biggest challenges of working at home is the self-discipline it requires to stay on task so you miss no deadlines.
Part of that self-discipline demads you to be very clear to friends and family that you are not staying at home with nothing to do and just waiting around for someone to need something from you.
You must equate your position at home to that of a position with an employer who is signing your paycheck every week. You are not available to get personal calls, so while you are working your voicemail will answer…you will return calls after you are done work for the day! Neither are you available to take hours off every day to run errands, or be a chauffeur or a babysitter. This is very important and the people in your life who want to see you succeed will understand, but still, even those who love you most will need repetition and consistency from you….or there will be problems reaching your deadlines, your goals and before you know it you will be handed a paycheck signed by someone with all the same rules, but you won’t be able to be home when your kids get there, or work in your pajamas if you want to and you will be needing plan B for when your kids are sick and recruiting car pools for your children’s extracurricular activities, etc., etc.
Having a schedule and sticking to it is the best way to succeed. Do not turn on the television while you are working…perhaps the radio is not so distracting..Look at the caller ID when the phone rings, but if it is not the school nurse, let it go to voicemail! If you were in an office somewhere your phone would be ringing and you wouldn’t be able to answer…
All this is easier said than done but if you want to be your own boss and succeed at your at home business, it is all mandatory and worse…it is all on you!!!!
Your schedule should include a 20 minute break mid morning and a half hour lunch and a mid afternoon break as well. Guess what? On your breaks you could start the breadmaker and provide home made bread with dinner and look like a hero! You can start laundry and get up and walk around to stretch and swap the loads from washer to dryer or from dryer to folding table or hang the perma press items, but get right back to that work station….no straying….You would get written up at someone’s office for straying and not being at your work station.
The reality of Working At Home is that you don’t have to pack yourself a lunch or buy one, you don’t have to dress to the nines to go to work, or battle a transportation dilemma every morning and afternoon, you can multi-task and get some automated chores done while you are still being productive. Also, if your kids are sick or it is a holiday from school you are there with them but oh, that is a whole other lesson!!!!
The people in your home need training!!!! The biggest rule is to teach them all, (Yes, even your grown up spouse or significant other who will also be spoiled with you being home), that while you are at your work station you are WORKING!!!! They need to learn that while you are concentrating on your work it is rude and unacceptable to interrupt you. Teach them that your peripheral vision is perfect and if they just stand there quietly, as soon as you can break your hands and mind away from the ‘conversation’ you are having with your work, you will and they need to be patient…as soon as the question has been addressed, right back to work. Do not let them pull at your heartstrings to get them something they cannot find, or reach or whatever. If you were not home working, you would not be there to provide these things and so they can do without until you are available at break time or lunch time or quitting time. I am not saying this is easy because we are nurturing, caring, loving people, but we also have responsibilities to fulfill or we will be back out in the traffic, sitting in someone’s cubicle raising our hands for a potty break and worse….worrying about our kids’ day care, and well being.
It is very worth the training sessions for yourself and your family and friends to have the luxury of being home while you work but it takes an enormous amount of self-discipline. Do you have what it takes? What is your biggest challenge while working at home? Leave a comment and let us all know…maybe someone will have the answer! Now go take a break!!!!