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How to Successfully Work From Home

Updated on May 18, 2012

Working from home seems like a dream to many. The truth is there are many pitfalls to avoid in any work from home job, even when it's doing something you genuinely love. To be successful at anything requires hard work, and working from home is no different. At times it might seem like the hardest job in the world because the only person to look to for motivation and inspiration is yourself. If you are just starting out on your working from home journey, or need a little guidance I hope you find some of these tips helpful.

Set a Schedule

Working from home offers a lot of flexibility. Possibly for the first time ever you get to set your own schedule. If your creative juices really begin flowing at night there is nothing to stop you from doing most of your writing at this time. I'm at the top of my game in the early morning. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as you stick with it. In the beginning it might take a while to discover when you are at your most productive, and that's OK. Take a few days to figure out when you will be working, and treat it just like any other job.

Create Specific Goals

Without external goals it's easy to fall behind when producing new work. It's vital to set goals for yourself. If you are working on something longer make deadlines for smaller segements of work. If it helps, write your goals for the day or week out, and hang them somewhere that you will see. Without specific achievable goals your work starts to feel overwhelming.

Make A Work Space

This is a very personal choice, but one you should give some real thought to. In the beginning I liked the flexibility of working anywhere I could take my laptop. In the end I created a home office of sorts in my bedroom corner. It's what worked for me because I find myself too drawn to distractions at times. Having a space dedicated to work gave me the control I needed to buckle down and get productive.

Tackle the Procrastination Monster Once and For All

If you are a life-long procrastinator its time to tackle this obstacle head on. Without a boss dictating deadlines it's too easy to push off work until a later time. Even if you haven't struggled with procrastination in the past you may find it becoming a problem for the first time when beginning your work from home career. Sticking to your schedule and working towards specific goals goes a long way in keeping you on track.

Learn How to Say NO

Others who work traditional 9-5 jobs might not fully understand that you are actually working. To them it seems like you should be available at the drop of a hat to help them run errands or go along for an impromptu lunch. The great thing about working from home is you can be flexible and change your work schedule to have a little fun or help a friend. The problem comes when they expect too much from you and your work begins to suffer. It can be hard to put your foot down, but it might be necessary if you a friend or family member can't take a hint.

Enjoy The Perks

If you are just starting out it helps to stick to at least a few of these guidelines until you find your natural rhythm. After a while getting right down to work isn't such a task. Don't forget to take breaks and treat yourself to the occasional afternoon off. The flexibility that working from home offers can become a pitfall, but only if you don't understand the unique problems it presents. If you are willing to put in the effort you can successfully work from home.


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    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Thanks Chris Hugh. It's was definitely a struggle for me in the beginning. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 5 years ago

      Good hub. Hubs like this give us the support and connectedness we otherwise lack working at home.

    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Thanks businesstrader. It's taken me a long time to learn that one.

    • businesstrader profile image

      Natalie Watson 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Some nice point here! I like 'Learn how to say no'. This definitely applies to me.