If you’ve been working from home or plan to anytime in the future there are some basic rules you should consider. Since I’ve been working from home for the past eight years I’ve made a few of these common mistakes and I’ve learned the hard way that working from home requires a lot of personal discipline. I set a few simple work from home rules for success that help keep me focused on my productivity.
Work From Home Rules For Success
Rule #1 Get showered and dressed every day. It’s so tempting to take advantage of all the comforts of being at home but working in your bathrobe should not be a regular thing. Give yourself one “pajama” day a month if you really want to but on regular days make the effort to shower and dress for work and you’ll notice how much more work actually gets done.
Rule #2 Eat a proper breakfast. This rule started because I would start the day with nothing more than a cup of coffee and right in the middle of my full morning schedule I’d have to stop and grab something fast because I was getting a headache and losing steam. This always causes an drop in my productivity. I would then have to either gobble something fast or take time out to eat like a person. The solution is to eat a complete breakfast before the work day begins and stock the fridge with healthy choices for between meals snacks.
Rule #3 Control Social Networking Habits-This can be difficult for many people who work from home. Social networking can benefit your business if used strategically, however the problem is once you’re on Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube there is so much going on that you get stuck there. The games, videos, comments and photos of your friends and family bombard you as soon as you log in.
Although it feels like time stands still on Facebook, in reality an hour or two can slip by all at once or in five minute chunks. Social networking can waste more time than a grumpy toddler during the course of your day. Try to estimate how much money you are losing every time you click away to check status updates and post a reminder with $$ around it …right next to your desk. Work from home moms have to make some tough decisions about how and when to allow social networking time.
Rule #4 Get Organized-You are no good to anyone especially yourself if you lack organization. You have to be able to find things when you need them as well as knowing what’s going on with separate projects and clients. To ensure that work and home projects don’t get mixed up, set up separate work spaces. To reduce stress and increase productivity, take some time to organize your work day.
When even the best planning goes “Wonky”…try these tips from Jen Goode
Learn to let go. Not all duties have to be accomplished by you… right now! Sometimes you can reschedule tasks. Other times you can ask for help or delegate a task. Better still, learn to allow yourself to tell others “I just can’t get to this right now, it will have to wait”. If others are counting on you, give an alternate timeline or recommend another service provider. It’s ok to be busy, let others know where you’re at.
In a majority of cases when I tell my clients that work has taken a temporary back seat to some family issue or I’ve gotten in a little over my head. I am met with complete understanding on their part. In fact they respond positively and offer flexible plans for when I am able to return to meet my work goals. Being honest with clients when problems arise is always the best policy. If you want to build and maintain a strong business relationship, make that #5 of my work from home rules for success.
What are some of your work from home “rules”? Comments are welcome.