“But You Stay At Home…”

8 Aug

It can be hard to work from home. Lets face it, there are some people who just aren’t cut out for it. You will run into family and friends who assume that since you work from home you can do things for them at the drop of a hat. There are people who treat you like you get paid to sit and watch TV all day. And even you can forget that the goal is to work….and make a living…and be productive. It has been a major struggle for me to work from home. A big part of that is the fact that I have two toddlers who need my time from 7am to 7pm. Here is a list of things I have found to make working from home easier.

1. Dress The Part: It can be hard to stay motivated when you are in your pink fuzzy slippers and Hello Kitty nightgown. Sure, a pro to working from home is that you can dress however you want, but you are going to be a lot more productive if you dress the part of a business person. Personally I pretend every day is casual Friday. Jeans and a dressy top will suffice for me.

2. Set Work Hours: I don’t mean to say that you need to work 9-5 Monday through Friday. I am sure part of the reason you wanted to work from home was to get away from that daily grind. I mean set a daily schedule to work. Personally I tend to work from 6pm to 11pm because it is easier to work when the kids are in bed. During these hours Facebook is gone, the TV is off and my phone gets put away. Oh, and that laundry in the dryer? It will have to wait. I am hoping that when I go full time my schedule can be more consistent. Currently Tuesday and Thursday are my full work days.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Say NO!: When Aunt Cindy asks you to watch her precious yet not so precious kids don’t be afraid to tell her that you can’t. If you don’t establish boundaries with friends and family then they will think you will always be free to watch their kids, walk their dogs, paint their nails, cook their meals…well, you get the picture. Tell them the truth that you are working to meet a deadline or are swamped with orders. If you worked a “real” job they wouldn’t be asking these favors (hopefully) so make them see that you DO work a real job.

4. Have Business Meetings: It seems silly, but my husband and I have monthly business meetings. We dress up and take our notebooks to Starbucks and have a business meeting. We discuss finances and goal setting and all of the ins and outs of our business. Not only is it a little fun, but it trains our brains to know that we are business partners too. If you work alone then treat yourself to Starbucks and go over your goals alone. Just don’t talk too loud because you may get some unwanted looks hehe.

5. Designate A Work Space: It is kind of hard to work in the middle of a pile of toys or in front of an oh-so-tempting TV. A designated CLEAN work space is a must for me. If I see the dusty TV or the pile of laundry then I am going to want to clean. If it is a designated work time then you need to be in your designated work place working on your designated tasks. On the same note, it is healthy to get out of the house sometimes too. Commit to a few hours of work at a coffee shop or a library once a week.

6. Don’t Feel Guilty About Taking Breaks: Fresh air is good for the body and the soul. Take a walk around the block every few hours. There have been days where I spent the whole day in my office and didn’t even know what the weather was like outside. When you work from home it can be easy to get caught up in a task and forget the time. Although it can be great and productive, no matter how much you love your job you WILL start to get burnt out if you don’t take breaks. I am proof of that.

7. Clock Out: I don’t mean go buy a time clock. My version of “clocking out” is pouring a glass of wine. When you work from home you tend to NEVER leave work. I am guilty of this…so guilty of this. Before I even get out of bed I have responded to emails anc have checked pending orders. I am working on leaving work at work and taking a full day off every now and then. It is a work in progress and I know it needs to be accomplished.

8. Let It Go: There will always be people who roll their eyes when you tell them that you work from home. They just don’t understand it. Forgive them for their naivety and move on.  Unless they have done it themselves they really won’t understand no matter how hard you try explaining it.

Working from home can be the best thing you have ever done for yourself and your family. As I said earlier, it certainly isn’t for everyone, but it CAN be successfully done. It’s all about balance and what works for you. Enjoy it! You’re living the American dream!

2 Responses to ““But You Stay At Home…””

  1. onlineghostwriterforhire August 8, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    I work from home, happily, and spend a lot more time working than most people I have known, and sometimes, when people hear I am self-employed, they say “You don’t work?” or “You don’t have a job?” and I feel like slapping them, except that I never hit other human beings.

    Being an entrepreneur means working hard at something, but because you love it, the work actually seems like fun, rather than work. It is so awesome! Everyone should try it!

    Thanks for the great blog, and awesome advice!

  2. Grandma August 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    This is so good; I especially love #’s 2, 4, & 7!!!! G

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