“The work-at-home lifestyle can be incredibly satisfying and an effective way to be closer to your family.”
Working from home is a dream that many of us tend to put up on a pedestal as an ideal scenario. I’ve heard many people say they’d be happy if they could just work from home… But would working from home really solve their problems and bring them happiness? Many who already work from home say that it takes a much higher level of self-discipline to succeed as compared to working outside the home.
Let’s examine a few key topics relevant to working from home and outline a rough road map to success.
“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… Self-discipline with all of them came first.”
-Harry S. Truman
As I transition from my old job to my new job, I have been blessed with an entire week off from work. In fact, as I type this article, I am waiting at my mechanic’s shop while they change the oil on my wife’s vehicle.
When this week started, it seemed like I was going to get so much done during my time off, but I have actually accomplished very little. Why is this? I see it as little more than a lack of self discipline.
After this short stint of freedom from employment, I would liken working from home with no self-discipline to driving a car with no feet… There is just no way to be successful. If you are thinking of making the switch to home-based employment, make sure that you have a high level of self-discipline and self-motivation or success will likely elude you.
The grass is always greener
“The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.”
If you have a bad attitude, and/or are stuck working a job you’re not crazy about, it is easy to fall victim to the grass is greener syndrome where anything looks better than the current situation. Why do you want to work from home? Is it because you hate your job? Perhaps you’re just lazy or have a bad attitude. If either are true, chances are you would be just as unhappy working from home as you are in your current job.
Before you set out to begin working from home, try adjusting your attitude and/or your work ethic and examine your current situation again.
Rough road map to work from home success
Proper attitude and discipline are key to succeeding as a home-based worker. Follow these additional tips to increase your likelihood of success.
- Turn off the TV. Perhaps the best advice is to ensure that you do not plop yourself down in front of the television. Avoid doing this at all costs. The TV has a unique ability to suck the work and motivation right out of you. Some people like the television for background noise, but I would argue against this being beneficial for most situations. Rather than using a TV for background noise, try turning on the radio… Music can be very motivating.
- Create a work space. Be sure to have a space designated to work. It is advisable to stay out of areas of comfort like your bedroom, the living room, etc. Your work space should be a space devoted to work, not relaxation. When you are there, you are working. Period. Make the space motivating and exciting. Surround yourself with things that inspire you and be sure to paint and decorate your space with colors and things that drive you and persuade you to accomplish.
- Set goals. What are you shooting for? What do you wish to accomplish? Make sure you write these things down and put them some place where you will see them often. Set both long term and short term goals. Your short-term goals should break your long term goals down into achievable chunks.
- Have and maintain a schedule. Use a calendar to keep track of what needs to be done each week. Spend at least 30 minutes each day populating your calendar with jobs, tasks, and errands that need to be done. Planning things out helps to motivate and maintain purpose and direction, along with showing you precisely what work needs to be done each day.
- Make lists. Use your goals and schedule to create daily to-do lists. Create your to-do list for the next day at the end of each work day, that way you come to get to your work space each morning with clearly defined tasks.
- Get up and go to work. Treat your home-based work just as you would any other job… Get up, take a shower, head over to your work space, and get to work. Do not let yourself wander into other areas of the house, just get ready then get right down to business.
If you have ever worked from home, or are considering making the move, please share your experience here to help others along their way. Be sure to include any tips that I may have overlooked.