I work from home. Every day I wake up, take a shower, and get dressed in the same way that I would if I were going to an office, but the reality is that I then wander over to my home office, put on a cup of coffee, and sit in front of the computer for a bit as I read the morning editions of several online newspapers. I am the poster child internet entrepreneur, and some days I really hate my job.
Making the transition from working offline to working online has been the most trying and challenging thing I’ve ever tried to do. It’s not all butterflies, honey-cake, and sleeping in. It’s work, hard work, and I’ve had my fair share of it. However, I don’t think I’d run back to an office if my life depended on it- I’ve simply grown too accustomed to the freedom and flexibility that working at home offers. It’s as if I’ve been spoiled with it, and now I’m never going to let it go.
One of the main things that I needed to get used to when I started working from home was staying on track with what I was doing. Too often I found myself surfing the internet, playing with my cat, and running errands when I should have been working. It took me a while, but I figured out how to stay focused:
- Get rid of all distractions
This includes the TV, video games, and any computer games or time wasters that you may have installed on your computer. When you’re at your desk, work. Leave the desk if you want to play or focus on other things.
- Have a dedicated work area
Using the same space that you use for casual activities is more likely to cause you to lose focus. When you’re in your work area, work. Eventually you will simply associate your work area as a place where you conduct business.
- Set a schedule
Work around a schedule that you set for yourself. This will allow you to judge how effectively you are using your time and will also provide a way for you to evaluate your overall performance. Remember, just because you work at home doesn’t mean that you no longer have expectations and deadlines to meet.
- Come dressed for work
A suit and tie may be a bit much, but definitely approach your workstation dressed and prepared to work. This will help keep your mind in the right place and give your day a better start.
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