If you think that it is easy to make work from home work, it’s not. At least it’s not a walk in the park.
Sure you are your own boss. You work only when you feel like it and you have all the time in your hands. You can surf the net, take long breaks and open your facebook account anytime and no one will reprimand you for doing it. You get to be with the kids, you can go out whenever you want and practically no one will get hurt when you make a mistake – except for yourself of course.
But that’s just it. When something goes wrong, you are to blame and you will suffer for it financially.
Don’t get me wrong. It is still the best arrangement and I will not trade my home career for anything. However, there is a downside when you are working at home and I feel that I should let you know. At least if you want to make work from home work for you.
Downside of Working from Home
As much as there is enough room for growth, there are some things that are lurking around the corner that will make you fail.
When I started working from home, I found that my greatest hurdle to being productive was myself. At first, I marvelled at the fact that I can open my social accounts anytime without having to look over my shoulder. I can browse the Internet as long as I want to.
But guess what, with every minute I spent reading the status updates of my friends and browsing through useless articles, I wasn’t earning anything!
That is the main downside of working from home. If you don’t work, you don’t get compensated for anything.
If I wanted to make work from home work for me, I had to really discipline myself! I was driven by the fact that each day I don’t work is a day of not earning anything. I don’t get holidays as well! My foreign employers care less about the Philippine holidays so I don’t get double pay.
While there are online careers like website management or selling digital products that are great passive income generators, writing was not really one of them. I get paid for every article that I submit.
Achieving Work from Home Success
So to make work from home work meant that I had to really step up and take charge of my life. The good thing about it was, every second I spent working means I get to earn more. It was a real eye opener for me. Earning from home took a lot of work – it really does!
Though I still get to work during the hours I wanted to, I had to maintain a certain number of hours working to achieve my target income. Does that make sense?
Anyway, based on what I experienced, here are a few things I suggest you do so you can succeed and make work from home work for you.
1. Block social networking sites. If you cannot discipline yourself, block it. I’m serious! These are really bad distractions! If you don’t want to block them, at least have them blocked while you work. There is a great tool for Mac called the Anti-Social that blocks social networking sites while it is turned on. I didn’t need to use these programs as I was able to discipline myself but you might find it useful. For Windows, I heard that PureSurf Desktop is a great application to use.
2. Create an Office Space at Home. Try not to work in your bedroom or your kitchen or your living room where the kids can sometimes get very rowdy. Create a corner where you can set up office so your mind gets psychologically geared up to work when you get there. Keep away from the most distracting parts of the house.
3. Maintain a Work Schedule. While flexibility is great, it helps to maintain a schedule so you do not cross the thin line between your work and personal life. Remember why you wanted to make work from home work in the first place – so you have time for your family without being distracted by work problems. Keep that line intact.
4. Set up a Plan. Even if you are working alone, writing down a concrete plan or timeline will really help you achieve milestones in your home career. It can be as simple as setting up a website by April, having a social network account for the site by May, write an eBook by the end of the year and so on. It keeps you focused on your goals.
To make work from home work is all about setting your goals and motivating yourself. At the beginning of this year, I wrote down the things that I wanted to accomplish this year and what I wanted to buy out of what I will earn. These help me stay up late and work hard even when my mind wanted me to relax and procrastinate.