There are a lot of people I meet, when I’m out and about, who tell me that they would love to be able to work at home like I do. There seems to be an over exaggeration about working at home that does not come close to approaching reality though. Unfortunately, one of those unreal views is that you will have time to do almost anything you want, and when you want. One of the other aspects to this overly unrealistic view is that some people believe that they would not have to bother with anyone disturbing their working time and, therefore, would be able to accomplish more in less time.
Let me attempt to dispel a couple of these unrealistic views with as few words as possible. To be able to work at home successfully takes all of the following: motivation, perseverance, work, good habits, no excuses, balance, accountability, and action.
It Takes More Than You Think
It takes motivation in the sense that you must be able to motivate yourself to actually do the work you have to do. You no longer have a boss, or supervisor to answer to.
You must be able to persevere in order to take on hard tasks and stick with them until they are done. This is no different than if you work for someone else who is expecting you to accomplish what has been asked.
You must develop good habits that do not interfere with some level of balanced life. For example, it is never a good idea to eat your lunch at your desk at work because of possible interruptions by colleagues who view any time at your desk as an indicator that you are working, and the same applies to working from home. You need to take a break away from your work area so when you return you are more refreshed and ready to work.
Avoid This Problem
One of the biggest concerns when you work from home is not to fall into the trap of using excuses not to work. For example, here are some seasonal excuses that are easy to use. Spring is a good time to plant the garden or clean up the flowerbeds. When you worked for someone else, these chores were done in the evening or on the weekends and that is still the time to do them when you work at home. Do not take time off your working day for these chores and the same applies to summer when the sun is shining which will tempt you to go outside or sit on the deck, or read a good book in the shade of one of your trees. Or, in winter when snow can be cleared during your workday instead of early morning or evening as you normally did before. You can find lots and lots of distractions at home – beware.
Adopt Valuable Principles
The rest of the work at home scenario involves accountability – you must organize your time and use it effectively – you report to the tasks you’ve listed to be done. Each day should start with a set of specific goals – if you do not accomplish them, you are the only one to blame. And, action is the key to keep going by doing what is necessary. Without action, everything else is a time waster.
Other People Issues To Avoid
There are many more I haven’t talked about that can cause you problems – friends wanting you to take time off from your work day to go to lunch, play a fast game of golf in good weather, or not having a dedicated place or office to work in undisturbed by other family members who can be very disruptive by just going about their own business – noise, chatter, TV, radio, phone calls from their friends, the dog barking and so on.
So, if you think working at home is a cakewalk, it is not. But, if you are a self-motivator, great organizational skills, have great work habits, can avoid distractions and can persevere when times or tasks are tough, then you have a real good chance of making working from home a real success.