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Work From Home Struggles

Updated on June 29, 2015
Distractions Is A Huge Struggle
Distractions Is A Huge Struggle

I am sitting in the library right now surrounded by screaming kids and I'm thinking, "Great, I already was having an unproductive day."

Sometimes you can write these days off when you work from home, but if you do that too often, then you can end up taking a huge hit on your motivation, productivity, and income.

However, the kids did get me thinking about an article to write about the biggest struggles of working from home.Lord knows I have faced (and still do face) my share of struggles.

Over the years I have seen a pattern in people who have failed online, and I have to admit that there are many things that can influence your success or failure when you work from home.

Following are the five biggest struggles I have seen in others and in myself.

1. Work-Life Balance

Working from home means that you do not have an office to go out to, unless, I suppose, you are making a ton of money and can rent out an office.

Although, you can go to the library or a coffee shop, but if you are trying to focus on something, and you don't want to be distracted, it is often better to be in a place of quiet like an office.

Many people have an in-home office that they work from, and it is important to try to make this office a place of work and not just another room in the house.

However, even though it is supposed to be your office, it is still a part of your home. This means that you can easily get drawn into the office to check emails, stats, and all kinds of other work-related issues when you are not supposed to be working. And you can easily get drawn out of the office to check on kids, pets, or the latest episode of Dr. Phil when you are supposed to be working.

Also, because your office is at home, you can easily spend extra hours working. I know I have worked well into the night on many occasions and came out of my office to find my husband asleep.

In addition, because you make your own hours when you work from home, you have to schedule in some days off or you could easily end up working 7 days a week.

Things that I do to separate work from home is:

  • Keep the office door shut on non-work hours as a reminder to stay out of it and focus on personal life.
  • Schedule at least one day per week where I do not work at all.
  • Ensure I get everything I need to get done in scheduled work time so I am not left thinking about what I need to do 'after hours'.
  • Keep distractions out of the office when I am working (phone, dogs, etc.)

A happy and healthy life is all about balance, and in addition to achieving goals in life, it is important to be able to spend time with your family and give yourself some 'you' time in order to be happy at work and in life.

2. Motivation To Work

I would have to say that this is the second biggest struggle when you work from home - at least for me. It can be very hard to stay focused and motivated when you have many distractions around you.

The phone, TV, and surfing on the web can all take time away from your work and cause you to stop taking action on your work.

The negative thing about losing motivation is that you stop working towards your goals, which ultimately decreases your income. For most people who work from home, their income is a direct result of how much energy they put forth towards their work; therefore, lack of motivation can be detrimental to your income.

Besides distractions, your ability to get things done can dwindle when there is not a boss looking over your shoulder or any coworkers depending on you to get your work done. When you are doing it solely for yourself, it can be easy to fall behind on what you need to do.

The best way to keep motivation high is to keep your goals in mind. For example:

Have a short-term, medium-term goal, and long-term goal that you are working towards. By having a short-term goal (something you want to accomplish in a week or two), you always have something to get up for and work towards.

In addition, because your short-term goal should influence your medium-term goal (something you want to accomplish in 1-6 months), and your medium-term goal should influence your long-term goal (something you want to accomplish in 6-12 months), you can easily stay committed to a bigger cause.

For instance, when writing an eBook, I may make a short-term goal of writing 10,000 words in a week. Of course, that goal will help me reach my medium-term goal of 50,000 words, which in turn will help me reach my long-term goal of finishing the eBook. Without the goals, I am likely to not write anything in the week or month! (I know, I've done it many times.)

Overwhelmed much?
Overwhelmed much?

3. Where To Focus Your Attention

There are many different things you can do when you work from home. Making money is a matter of deciding what route you want to take and sticking with it. If you try to exert your energy in too many different directions, then you end up getting nothing done - fast.

The problem is that most people who work from home have many ideas and business ventures that they would like to explore, and choosing one or two can be very hard to do.

Personally I struggle between ghostwriting, writing eBooks, focusing on blogs, and even writing on HubPages. In addition, inside of each of those avenues for making money, there is a lot of little things that need focus such as social media and interacting with others online.

Often, it can be overwhelming when there are so many things you want to do, and this cause you to lose focus and, sometimes, even just give up.

I often feel like I am missing out on some big opportunity because I am focusing on one thing or another, but if I don't stay focused on one or two tasks then I will never get anything done.

A guy named Mark Joyner has developed a productivity tool called Simpleology, and one of the first things I learned from him was that in order to get things done, you have to put your energy on a specific target. It is much easier to accomplish a goal when you are focused on it, but it is hard to hit a goal when you are focused on many different things. Your energy gets displaced in many different directions in that case, and your target gets very little of the energy you are putting out. Therefore, it is important to stay focused on your targets if you want to hit them and succeed.

4. Following Crappy Advice

In order to succeed online you have to be in a constant state of learning. Understanding what works and what doesn't is important to success no matter which route you take.

There is no need to re-invent the wheel when you work from home, as there are many successful people that you can learn from. However, sometimes there are unsuccessful people who give crappy advice that leads you down the wrong road and takes away from success.

For example, when I first started trying to make money online, I found an ad titled "Make money by entering simple data online." It seemed to be a data entry job, and since I had done data entry offline, I figured that it was a real thing that could be done. However, after I signed up to learn how to do it, I quickly realized that it was not just 'simple data entry'. It was affiliate marketing, and it required a lot of work if you were going to make any money.

After many years online, I can now see that I was led down many wrongs roads while trying to become successful as an affiliate marketer, which is why eventually I just stopped trying to be successful as one.

If I had found someone in the beginning who knew what they were talking about, and had given me awesome advice, then I might be making really good money as an affiliate marketer right now considering I would have years under my belt - but crappy advice was what I found instead.

My point is, if you can find good advice, and follow a blueprint of success, then you will have a much better chance of succeeding in the area you choose to work at as you work from home.

The best way to do that is to follow the chatter. If you hear about Mark Joyner, for example, then ensure that you do some research on him before you jump into his programs or follow his advice. If he has helped many people, and is receiving some praise, then you are on to something, but if he talking out of his ass, and only has fake reviews posted on his site without actually being talked about in forums and other non-promotional sites, then you may want to look elsewhere.

5. Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone

Another one of the work from home struggles that can hinder your success is being able to push past your comfort zone. It can be hard to do things that are scary, but that is exactly what is necessary in order to succeed.

In my offline job I never had to push my comfort zone. I did the same things everyday, and there was nothing really scary about my job. At home, however, I have to make my own success which means doing things that I am not comfortable with doing.

It is apparent that the most successful people who work from home are those that are willing to take risks and face their fears. People who sit back and try to make things work without actually doing some scary things have very little chance of succeeding.

For instance, I spent years avoiding interacting with other bloggers as an affiliate marketer. I was scared to talk them and create joint ventures, and in the end it contributed to my failure with affiliate marketing. Relationships are essential to succeeding online as it helps you build your name, your reputation, and your brand. You will notice that anyone online who is successful has relationships with other people, and I was unable to push past my comfort zone and try to build these relationships.

The great news is that if you are willing to push past your comfort zone, you will experience many new possibilities and grow as a person both in business and in life.

There Are Many More Work From Home Struggles

In the end, these are just five things that be a struggle when you work from home. There are other things can influence how much success you will find.

In addition, you may find that some of these things are not a struggle at all. For instance, you may be someone who has no problem pushing past your comfort zone and going for what you want.

If you have any work from home struggles that are not mentioned here, please share them in the comments below!

Take The Poll!

If you had to pick, where do you think you would (or do) struggle?

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    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Yes, that is definitely one of the advantages Ruchi. No stress about asking for the time off, getting the notes, and worrying about what your boss/coworkers will think. I feel bad for my husband who feels guilty to call in sick when he is really, really sick.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Very useful and insightful hub here as to the struggles of working from home.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      I find working from home: investment and trading, writing as very good substitute to my long hours of engineering work. It is good as when my child is sick, I can just take one day off without going through the long procedure of going doc to get medical leave and then informing boss. I am my own boss..

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Cool Janet. I recently signed up for a goal setting software, and it has really helped me stay on task and accomplish what I need to or want to accomplish. Without it, I got very little accomplished in my day. However, I don't have kids! lol I can imagine that could put a dent in sticking to a schedule.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      5 years ago from Georgia country

      Thank you for this useful hub! As a mother of two little kids I often have the problem to stick to a schedule when working at home. I often end up having achieved only half of what I wanted to do. But I'm still at the beginnig. I have only recently started to really focus on working from home as I'm in parental leave. My goal is to become a full work at home mom in the future.

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Hey Joe! I just replied to your comment and it disappeared! Talk about work from home struggles. lol.

      Anywase, as far as self publishing goes, I listen to a podcast by a couple of guys that have published a ton of eBooks. You can find them at They discuss issues around self publishing and I find them very interesting and valuable. Only thing is they use swear words and adult topics sometimes, but if you can look past that, or are okay with that, then they can offer you a ton of information about self publishing. On iTunes you can even go back and listen to their podcasts, and I think they have over 50 right now.

      As far as formatting the eBook and writing it, I refer to Jim Edwards who wrote the 7 day eBook. Just Google '7 day eBook'. It is basically an eBook based around a webinar he did on how to write eBooks fast. He has published a number of eBooks under various pen names and gives you a solid place to start from, at least I thought so. You can get your money back with their 60-day money back guarantee, so if you don't like it you won't lose out on much!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Kari!

      I really like this article because it hits home with me on several counts. One thing I learned--or was at least reminded of--is that you produce eBooks. In keeping with your item about not following crappy advice, I am asking you for a solid lead to a book or online site you may have used in your research of how to go about producing an eBook. Thanks for any tips or links, Kari. Best wishes for continued success here on HP! Aloha! Joe

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks for the comment Norns.

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks Sharkye, same to you.

      I have to say, I am the same. If I could outsource the communication aspects then I would be fine, but that wouldn't do a lot for my voice and presence.

    • NornsMercy profile image


      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I find it hard to stay motivated. Thanks for this hub!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very useful and inspiring hub. I would have to say pushing past my comfort zone is the hardest. For me, communications is the hardest. I still break out into a sweat when I have to make a business call, and if a task means that I will have to call or email someone, I generally avoid it altogether and go find something else. Working at home means I have to be the desk help too, can't just hand those tasks to someone else! But I have been working on small goals in that department. Every day, I inch a little further out of that zone.

      Thanks for the great read, and all the best luck in your work-at-home endeavors!


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