I’m excited share this collaborative post with y’all about a work perk I used to be able to take advantage of!
If you believe that you will be the man or lady of leisure when you start your home-based business any time soon, you might be disappointed. There will be moments when you will struggle managing your time, and days when everyone will decide to call you at the worst moment, Your expectations of working from home might be far from the reality. Once you come to terms with the difficulties and try to tackle them one-by-one, you will need to try to explain your friends and family members that you do more than drinking coffee in your pyjamas all day. If you want to get prepared for the reality of working from home and running a serious business, check out the below misconceptions.
There No Distractions
If distractions become unbearable, and you need to focus on an important project, you might think about renting an office space. Some people have already given up working from home full time and decided to look for affordable apartments for rent to separate their home environment from their work. If you don’t have a separate office in your home, you will be distracted by people walking in and out, canvassers ringing the bell, or the phone ringing. People will assume that just because you are home all the time you are always free.
If you write blogs, vlog, or create any type of content on the internet, you will know that there is a time when you have to focus on the task at hand. You cannot have kids running around you when you are trying to record a video. While you might have the house to yourself for most of the day, you will need to do things around the house. If you are a female, you will notice some dust or decide to clean the bathroom, get rid of an annoying cobweb every now and then. Friends, knowing that you are home will rely on you to have a chat with them or help them out which will completely mess up your schedule.
You Can Work from Your Sofa
You must have heard that those who write blogs and earn their living through the internet stay on the sofa all day and are laid back. In fact, sitting on the sofa balancing a laptop on your knees is not the most comfortable position, and will potentially cause back injuries. You will need to create yourself a comfortable space in the house where you will have every tool that you need for your work. As a minimum, get a desk with a chair that offers lumbar support, and adequate lighting for you to see what you are doing. If you are fed up with sitting down most of the time, you can even get yourself a standing up or kneeling desk, which is better for working long hours from home.
Working from the sofa is OK for short term, but will not be comfortable if you work more than a few hours a day. Get a corner for yourself and set your chair, monitor, and keyboard set up how you like it. You will see an increase in your productivity. You can still stand up every now and then and get a coffee, but at least you have your own work space.
You Can Watch TV All Day
You should focus on getting as much done in a day as possible. If you are watching TV, you will not fully focus on the project at hand. You should eliminate as many distractions as possible, and television is one of them. Reward yourself by watching your favorite TV program or Netflix series, but only after you finish your tasks for the day. If you watch TV, you will forget things and make more mistakes. You wouldn’t watch television or Netflix in the office, so you should turn it off as soon as you start working.
Even if you have your TV on, you might still be tempted to check your phone every now and then, and update your Facebook status. You might just suddenly remember the name of a person you used to go to school with, and want to look them up on Facebook. You know the feeling? Allocate yourself a lunch break and several coffee breaks and make a list of what you wanted to do, check out, and who you wanted to call. You might even turn the TV on to catch up with the news.
You Set Your Own Working Hours
It is true that you can set your working hours, but working from home doesn’t necessarily mean that you will work less. In fact, most people spend more time working than those who go to the office every day. Self employed people work long hours and often forget how to relax. While it is true that you can pick your hours, you need to consider when your brain is active and when your customers are online. If you work for international companies as a virtual assistant, for example, you might need to stay up at night and sleep in the day. If you are not a night owl, this will pose a problem and affect your lifestyle.
You Will Never Get Bored
Most people working from home get lonely and fed up sometimes. If you are a blogger, you might be good at creating content for your readers, but will still miss human interaction. To solve this problem, you can try networking, meetings, or simply meet up with fellow bloggers to share your views and experiences. You are likely to get bored most days. This is why you must keep yourself motivated. Make sure that you set a target and a reward for hitting it. Measure your productivity. Move around the house.
You could even try to work from different spots or get out in the garden. Today, you are sure to find a nearby coffee place with fast internet. If you would like to be around people and need a change, you can jump in the car with your laptop and sit down there to carry on working. Simply having a chat with the barista will break your routine and make you more motivated.
You Can Multitask During the Day
Your family members might expect you to have cleaned the house by the time they get home. They might even think you have time to cook a 3-course dinner, since you are home. You can try cooking and working at the same time, but you are likely to forget about something. You will either burn the food or make a mistake in your work. You might be able to multitask in some work, but need a full concentration for others. If you are expected to cook, you can still rely on a crock pot dish or slow cooker that doesn’t need attending.
Try to vary your tasks and focus on one thing at a time. If you have two boring projects to get through in one day, switch between them. Instead of doing the same repetitive job and losing the will to live, take a break. Schedule some quick cleaning or vacuuming between projects to clear your mind and fully focus on the next job.
You Don’t Have to Give Yourself a Break
You will need a break, especially if you work on the internet. It is recommended that you take a break from the screen every hour, and stand up and walk around to get your circulation going. Why not schedule a daily walk or a trip to the shops during lunch? Want to catch up with friends? Get them to meet you in town for a sandwich.
Self-employed people are generally too hard on themselves. It is scary having to rely solely on your business and paying your way. You shouldn’t forget, however, to look after yourself. If you fall ill, you will no longer get sick pay. Set up a health schedule, and take an exercise break. Even if you only do light yoga stretches every few hours, you can prevent a bad back or fatigue. Remember that when you used to work you got a full hour lunch break? Give yourself at least that.
Working for yourself from home is a challenge for most people. If you have just started off, you will need to be prepared for distractions, boredom, and loneliness. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, allow time to spend with your friends and family, but eliminate distractions in your home as much as possible. This way you can achieve maximum productivity, get more free time, and build a healthy work-life balance for the future. Take a break from the routine every now and then, and create a private working space you can be proud of. Bloggers sitting on the sofa all day in their pyjamas is only an urban legend; don’t fall for it.
This post was a collaborative effort – please check out my disclosure policy page for more details.