How to Stay Sane Working From Home?
So you want to work from home, right? Have you considered all the consequences such a decision would imply?
For most people this 'I don't have to go to work' thing seems like a nice and easy way to make money, but without sounding patronizing I'd like to let you know that it's not always like in the advertisements.
Sure, you can throw the boots off and do just nothing from time to time, but to keep your mental stability you need more than just a comfy chair.
I've been running my own business for four months and there has been no authority above me to determine if I should be working on this or that. It's been really nice in the sense that I could find out all the highs and lows of the business.
First of all, you get to call the shots. Who hasn't dreamt of a job where he's the boss and everything happens in a way he likes it. If you've never dreamt of becoming your own boss you must be one unique snowflake, that much I can tell.
The problem with being the guy is that you are who takes responsibility as well. For someone who comes from the corporate world, responsibility is a new thing. Yeah, you have a wife or kids or a girlfriend you need to take care of.
You have friends and other relationships you need to maintain so there is some stress going on here and there, but if you've never took full economical responsibility for a business you haven't seen a thing.
It's crushing, brutal pressure at times and makes you want to just ask somebody else to make the decision for you so you can dodge the bullet. Well, it doesn't work like that unfortunately. When you work at home it's your business, your money, your responsibility, your work-schedule and depends on you entirely if the boat is going to sink or float.
Here are some good tips I found to work, not just for shaking off stress but to keep my marbles while in my room.
I work in my own room, and unfortunately that means that my personal space is somewhat limited. I have my own desk and laptop and chair, but that's about it.
When I can't take the pressure anymore I just shut my netbook and take a walk or hop on a bus and go to a park to work. If you've never tried working on a bench with your laptop, you absolutely have to do that. If you have, you know what I'm talking about.
Second, keep a fairly regular work-schedule. You are the boss, you decide when to work so you can decide to work regularly, mostly getting work done in the same time frame. It won't hurt you to work from 9 to 5 with one laptop.
You can even have a beer if you want to, just make sure it doesn't interfere with your job. If you're a creative type person it may even help a little. You can work at night, or have the on/off week schedule described by Steve Pavlina, it doesn't matter, just make sure you work a little every time period you consider atomic.
I work almost every day, and procrastination has been heavy, so having a day off here and there probably helps.
Don't work on the same thing for too long. Okay this may sound scary a little, but don't make this mistake. I often find that I have no clue about the day of the week whatsoever. Can be painful if you play lottery that's drawn once a week. Diversify a little. Work every day, but don't do the same stuff day in day out or you might lose track of the days.
Have no-comm zones in your timetable. This helps with being productive. The more productive you are the faster you do a task.
Shut your phone off, quit your e-mail client and tell everybody that you're just not available from 8am to 1pm, or whatever interval you want to be productive. I can go crazy if I'm interrupted when I'm supposed to work.
Most people give their personal sphere up in the name of so called availability.
Your time, your money, your rules, just don't let people take advantage of that and make you their 8-ball supposing 'you don't work anyway'.
TAKE BREAKS. I don't know if I made myself entirely clear here, let me try again. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS. You work at home, you don't really have deadlines set by others unless you are a freelancer.
The possibility of getting work done any time you fancy doesn't mean that you have to work all day long.
No matter how tough you think you are, you WILL burn out sooner or later. Burning out is not a fun thing, I've had my share of fun in the last few months and let me tell you that working from home is not for the weak.
If you are your own boss and you don't speak to people other than your spouse/landlord/kids you will find yourself in a bubble.
Burst that bubble until it's too late and talk to other people. Take a day off and do something fun. Why would you want to work from home if you can't enjoy the bright side of it all?
Freelancing and working from home can be a great life experience. It's not very often when people get to be the boss in successful business and make all the money but no amount of money is worth your health.
Take breaks, exercise, socialize and you might as well have the time of your life.