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Working from Home Opportunity - 7 Tips on How to Succeed and Make Your Dream Happen

Updated on December 22, 2014
My humble workstation
My humble workstation | Source

1. Avoid distractions!

Working from home means just that—working from home! That sounds obvious, but I think it’s something that all entrepreneurs who set their sights on working from home realize at some point. You have to actually work when you're working from home. Working at home is full of distractions, from the kids to the pets to the television. While working out of your own house has its benefits, it takes discipline to be successful at it.

Okay, so I haven’t been at this very long, but I’m making enough income to get by, and most of it is from home. Besides teaching a local class in person, I teach an online class and spend the rest of the time writing articles (at least for some money!) and exploring how to expand my chosen career from home, namely, freelance writing. I have several tips that I can share about pitfalls to avoid.

2. Put in the time.

I said it before, and it’s worth repeating. If you’re working from home, you have to WORK FROM HOME. Many people won't really understand that you are working full-time just like they are. They might think you are always free for lunch at short notice. Your family may think you are always available to do their bidding. They have to learn that you DO have to work. Your days can’t be filled with running errands, lunches and shopping, or watching soap operas and talk shows. While it might be fun, running around and running the television won’t pay the bills.

Time to get up!
Time to get up! | Source

3. Set a schedule.

Just how are you going to schedule your time? You must schedule the hours that you will work in order to discipline yourself to actually work. Think about when you are most alert or most creative. Many freelance writers, like me, get their juices flowing late at night. That’s when their muse shows up! Others get fired up in the early morning hours. If your home-based business is something such that it requires daytime contacts, then that fact will affect the schedule you choose. I am not an early riser, so I get up around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m., grab a cup of coffee and sometimes breakfast before opening up my laptop and diving into what I need to do for the day. After three or four hours (with some distractions in between), I break for lunch, and sometimes I even take the afternoon off—not every day—to do something with friends or family. When I do, I know that I will probably work three or four hours that evening. Being a night owl works for me. You have to find what works for you.

4. Set specific goals.

Sometimes I find the overall goal of working from home to support myself to be overwhelming. Breaking goals down into specific, manageable tasks has helped me. What are some things you need to do? You might need to update your resume to reflect your new career objective. Write down that step and cross it off when you get that finished. Some of my specific tasks include updating resumes for different types of writing jobs, exploring certain writing sites, choosing a magazine to submit to from my new Writer’s Market book, and taking steps to start my own blog. These are a few of my many specific tasks that I have written down and look to from time to time to keep myself focused. Once you’ve achieved those tasks, make a new list, and go from there.

5. Don't procrastinate.

Making lists will help you avoid procrastination, as you will have your game plan right in front of you in black and white. Otherwise, it’s easy to put things off. You might blow off returning those phone calls--and lose business. You might tell yourself you’ll look at that website later or that there is plenty of time to update your resume. You don’t know that. You might be unprepared if you don’t do those important things now rather than later. You’ll find, too, that you’ll get much more done if you start thinking that you will “do it now." Make that mentality a habit. Along the way, you will build a reputation, too, of someone who takes care of business.

Time for a break in the backyard!
Time for a break in the backyard! | Source

6. Enjoy your breaks.

It's okay to take more breaks than you would at a traditional 9 to 5 job. After all, you are working from home, and there are benefits, so enjoy them. I love being at home, even when I’m working. I love having my pets around me when I’m writing. I enjoy getting up for a cup of coffee, or going out into the backyard for a quick walk around with my dog. I love taking an afternoon off occasionally and going to a flea market with a friend. It’s okay to take advantage of something you may have dreamed of for years—working from home. Enjoy some of the perks, and you may find that working from home is even more fulfilling than you could ever have imagined.

7. Keep at it!

Working from home may not be for everybody, bu I love it! I am getting more focused and more organized as the months go by. I am making more income than I did starting out and am working on ways to increase that amount. I’m getting by for now, and that is really what matters, as working from home is for me. This is something I love, and I plan to follow my own advice to make sure it is something at which I’m successful. Perhaps I'll give an update down the road. Check back with me in six months!


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