Working from home seems like a dream, right? You don't have to sit in rush hour traffic. You're free to create your schedule. No rushing in the morning because you slept through your alarm and might be late for work. It would be great if you could work in your pajamas every day, yes?
Well, let me tell you, it has its ups and downs. You don't always get to work in your pajamas. Plus, you can form many bad habits if you are not disciplined enough. Your habits—good or bad—will affect whether you are successful or not.
Set up your schedule for the day or week. Try to stick to your schedule. Set a timer for each task to help you be more aware of how long it takes you to do it. It'll help you stick to your schedule after you've identified the length of time it takes you to complete everything. Regularly monitor what you do with your time. Nobody is born with great time management skills. It takes discipline and work.
2. Sleep is Important
Get enough sleep so you won't sleep in the next day. If you aren't sleeping enough, then you are more likely to keep snoozing after turning off your alarm. I'm guilty of this. I've found I need more than six hours of sleep every night in order to truly be functional the next day. I dread waking up early when I haven't gotten enough sleep. Some people work better at night, but most don't. If you aren't a night owl, then I recommend going to bed early enough so that you can wake up ready to conquer the world.
3. Define Your Goals
Set goals with a timeline to accomplish them. Write them down, put a map on your whiteboard and do something that motivates you to keep moving forward. Prioritize your goals. Start with something small, then work your way up to bigger things.
4. Take a Break
Get out and breathe the fresh air. Sitting inside all day can make you feel lethargic or sleepy. Take a walk, go for a run or meet a friend for coffee or lunch. It's beneficial for your physical and mental health.
5. Social Media
Stay away from social media, like Facebook. I understand that you want to check your newsfeed every two minutes to see if something new has popped up. However, it takes valuable time away that you could be using to finish your work. Facebook or Twitter will still be there. Work first, play later.
I don't know about you but when my kids are at home—they make me a little insane when I have work to get done. Usually it's because one of them touched the other's things and a fight breaks out. As much as I adore them, I find it difficult to concentrate on my work when they're around because of the constant stream of interruptions. I love these guys, but I need time to complete my work. I try to avoid working when they're at home but that's not always possible.
Since I'm sure many of you parents out there are in the same boat, if you can, hire a babysitter or nanny to help out during the day. Don't feel bad about it. It doesn't make you a bad parent. Some parents feel it makes them less of a parent if they can't juggle all of it, especially women. Just remember that everyone has their limits. If you can't afford to hire someone to help you, then make a plan to work when they're not around or asleep. You will be happier for it in the long run. You accomplish more and your children won't feel neglected.
Interrupting everything you're doing to instantly answer an email ensures that you're never going to get anything done. Interruptions make it nearly impossible to accomplish your tasks in a timely manner. Finish your task first, then take a break to answer any pending emails. Unless it's an emergency, it can wait.
8. Be on Time
In addition to setting up a weekly schedule, hold yourself accountable and be on time. Be at your exclusive home workspace on time. Don't be late for meetings or conferences. Don't be late for the schedule you created. Accountability is everything when you're an entrepreneur. If you're constantly late for everything then it eventually ruins your image.
It may seem like you're getting more done but the reality is that you're spreading your attention too thin. You can increase your work productivity on a project if you focus on one area of it at a time. If it is too large for you to tackle at once, break it up into smaller sections. You'll feel less overwhelmed and accomplish more while producing higher quality work.
10. Say No
When you become a freelancer, there is this insane notion that you're not allowed to refuse anyone. You're "required" to take the work offered. I disagree. Not every client or project is going to be a match for you. Don't be afraid to decline a project that comes your way.
Do you have any bad habits that you would like to point out? Feel free to leave a comment below. Like what you see? Subscribe to my blog! Thanks for reading!