The Art of Working at Home

woman working from homeIf you’ve ever worked from home, you know that there can be many distractions and challenges. The kids could be there. There’s a TV show you want to watch from last night. Laundry is calling. That painting project you’ve been putting off could get done right now. All of these things can pull you away from work. The thing is, there’s no way I’d rather be doing it than from home, and I’ve always been determined to make it work.

Set a schedule

That’s why I make a schedule and stick to it. Time management is the most important aspect of working at a home-based job. You must be willing to ignore all of the distractions (okay, maybe not the kids) and focus your mind toward your work, at least for a designated period of time. I recommend creating a set schedule and for the most part, not deviating from it.

What I do after I’ve taken the kids to school (and after my coffee, of course, and hopefully a shower) is go immediately to my desk and check my email. That allows me to wake up a little and start gearing my mind toward the work day.

writing down scheduleAfter clearing my emails sufficiently, I set aside two straight hours toward working which usually starts around 9:00 and I don’t let myself do other tasks through that time. At the end of the two hours, I take a break for 15 minutes and then do another 30 minutes. This gets me to around noon when I can eat lunch or go run a couple of errands. When I get back around 1:30, I commit to one more hour (if I have to pick up the kids from school) and three more hours if I don’t.

You could even refine your schedule to be more specific like working on spreadsheets at 9:00, making calls at 10:00, paying bills at 11:00, etc. Some of you won’t have the kid distraction, so you can obviously create a different schedule. Your schedule doesn’t have to be completely rigid. It should, however, be a strong guideline to help you avoid being pulled away for other things.

Don’t try to fit in too much

Another aspect of time management that I try to follow is being realistic about what I can fit into my time. Many people overestimate what they can get done and then fall short, or are late for other things because they are now working beyond their designated time. I have become pretty good at this one, having worked at home for 20 plus years. Try to gauge how much time each task will take you and add up the time. This will help you greatly in knowing how much time you need.

Stay away from social media

I am very guilty of being tempted by Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. and I am very easily distracted by it. If you are like me and you know you’re going to be on it, then I would suggest adding it to your schedule. Allowing yourself maybe 30 minutes of it during the work day might give you your fix, because it can be a total time-waster if you can’t be disciplined with it.

woman riding bikeAllow yourself a “free day”

The main reason we want to work at home is for the freedom, right? If you are able to, depending on the amount of work you have, let yourself have a free day each week, every two weeks, once a month, or whatever you can swing. That way you will know that you have time to get other things done, but your work day won’t be an endless distraction.

I LOVE working at home

Having a home-based business is the best career decision I ever made. It has allowed me to have the freedom to be there for my kids, not have a boss, and to have the self-esteem and confidence of knowing that I can do this on my own. 

Are you looking for a way to create a home-based business with great training and someone to help you every step of the way?

 

You should definitely check out Wealthy Affiliate. It’s free to try.

 

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6 comments

  • JeffWA

    HI Shannon,
    Indeed some of the advice/tips that you presented in your great article to help teach the reader how to be as productive as possible through working at home were indeed excellent guidelines.

    Too often people working at home, and knowing that a boss ideally would not be looking over their shoulders allows many to fall instead to the temptation to just “slough off”. Turn on the tv for a bit, phone a friend to “chat”, take a break for 25 minutes instead of 10; all are distractions that an individual could easily get sucked into instead of WORKING! You mentioned that being on social media can be a great problem with you personally as far as getting things done.

    I hear you Shannon, as admittedly for me it simply is writing emails to my friends. In order to still get this done, I get up 45 minutes earlier and discipline myself to finish them by a certain time – and I won’t return back the rest of the day.

    The idea that you also discussed with the suggestion that a person map out for him/herself a specific schedule to do specific things in order daily was fantastic. The person would then only have to discipline him/herself to stick to that schedule without exception.
    I’m a concrete- sequential person as it is. But for a random-abstract person – were he/she not to have a daily schedule planned out all I would say would be “good luck” to that person accomplishing anything.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff

    • Shannon

      Hi Jeff. Thanks for visiting my page. I love the suggestion about getting up earlier and I may have to add that into my next blog because that is obviously a great way to get more work done. 🙂

  • Robert Allan

    Hello Shannon
    A nice article on some of the things you should do if you are involved or are thinking of getting involved with a Home Business.
    I especially like that you mention a schedule because this is a Must Have as is a business plan and people should stick to them like glue.
    You also mention that people shouldn’t try to do too much and this is also a Must have.
    People trying something new invariably try to do too much and end up making mistakes.
    I always advise people to at least have an understanding of one thing before they move on to the next and set aside some time to do research.
    Another one is free time.
    Too may people don’t think this is important but you must get away from your workplace and chill out.
    Take the dog for a walk or get out into the garden with a cool drink of juice. Ctach up on the latest gossip with a friend.
    Finally you mention Wealthy Affiliate.
    As an ambassador for this online training program I can vouch for it 100% as the place to go to for all the training you will ever need to launch your own home business.
    Have a great day.
    Robert Allan

    • Shannon

      Hi Robert. Great thoughts on working from home. I really like that you emphasize free time because that’s really the main reason we want to work for ourselves, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Norman

    I must agree as and affiliate marketer you have to manage your time so that you can get the most put of it. From experience I have had to deal with so much distraction and at times this can be frustrating so once you have a plan and commit to that plan you will be well on your way to being effective and productive at what you do. You have done a great job with this article and I am sure that your readers will learn alot from what you have to offer so they can know the art of working at home, all the best to you and keep up the good work.

    • Shannon

      Thank you so much for your kind words and your comments. Distractions are definitely the hardest part of working at home. But it’s SO worth it. 🙂

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