I have worked from home for about 15 years now and can't really imagine the thought of going back to the 9 to 5 grind. That said, I was super surprised the other day when I looked down my block and though that maybe the majority of the adults on my street worked from home.
Which got me thinking about how the working world has changed. It used to be that everyone worked in an office or a warehouse or a factory. But that isn't so anymore.
Now Ebay-ers and Etsy-ers are busy making money working from home without having to rent out that huge factory space. Most of my friends who are Realtors or writers work from a home office and with the advent of 3D printers I am sure that the factory will look different in a few years.
Don't get me wrong, I know that I have a strange view of the world, but honestly, ALL of my true friends are work from home entrepreneurs.
If you are considering making the jump to being a work from home entrepreneur, here are my top five tips for success and sanity!
Get Yourself Set Up Right
Having a little corner of a bedroom with an old hand-me-down desk will not work if you are REALLY going to be a work from home superstar. You need to carve out a piece of your living area that will serve as your “office space”. Now, this might be in your bedroom but make sure that it is functional AND organized.
Here are some great resources for setting up your office space right!
- Home Organization 101 Week 4 ~ The Office (a bowl full of lemons)
- The Life-Changing Magic Of Having Marie Kondo Organize Your Office (fast company)
- 10 Tips for a More Beautiful and Functional Home Office (mashable)
- How to Design the Ideal Home Office (entrepreneur)
There Is No Balance
One thing that makes me crazy in the idea that you can have “balance” as a business owner working anywhere. Being an entrepreneur means that you have to work your butt off all the time and when your home office is right there, this can get even more out of hand.
That said, it is super important NOT to let your work take up all your time. Make sure that you have a hard start and stop time each day and that you are not working 24/7.
I have listened to a huge number of interviews with successful people and they all said they had to work like crazy people at the start. Now they all say they should have had more balance, but there has never been an interview with someone who went from balanced to success right from the start.
You Have To Leave The Home
This kind of goes along with the “you can't work all of the time” theme. You have to get a support system around you of people who you meet with and talk to.
While it is tempting to spend all your time at home huddled over your computer, making art or doing work, you WILL eventually stagnate and become grumpy. Your productivity will drop and you will start to lose focus.
Now, I am not talking about doing random one-on-ones to try and pitch your services (or listen to someone else's pitch). This is more about finding power partners that you can brainstorm with and bounce ideas off of.
Having strictly scheduled time to get out of the house makes a HUGE difference. I try to get out and speak locally on a regular basis. I also mastermind with a few different people on monthly or bi-monthly basis.
No You Can't Do Whatever
When you work from home people around you will think, “oh she can do that for me, she is home anyways”.
Working from home is about working. It is not about playing at home. I don't do laundry during my work day. I don't run home errands or watch television. I treat my work day just as I would if I had a “boss”.
That is not to say that I don't have responsibilities like taking my kids to the bus and picking them up. I occasionally help out my Mother In Law by running her to the tire store, but there is no time to favors for people who have full time jobs.
I have a full time job too, mine just happens to happen at home!
Time Management Is A Must
The last thing you need to get a hold on is your time. Because there is not someone looking over your shoulder you can surf on Facebook for an hour and no one will care. But YOU will notice when your work day has to be an hour longer to make up the time.
The easiest way to keep your time under control is to write down your schedule everyday. Here are a few things that I track:
- Daily To Dos
- 10 Ideas
- Grateful for
- Tasks and Times
Here is my time management worksheet that I print out and keep in a binder >> Click here
However you decide to track your time, the key is consistency. If you have a system that you are using to make sure that you accomplish everything that you need to do your business will thrive!
Work From Home Entrepreneurs Wrapup
Well there you have it, my top tips if you are considering working from home. Having worked from home for years now I feel like I have a really great system for Getting Things Done!