Written by Jacob C. Herman
How to Work from Home
Working from home, whether you are working for yourself or telecommuting, can be the best thing to ever happen to your business or it can destroy any chance of success. What makes the difference? Well, it’s simply how you manage your workday.
The first thing to keep in mind is that working from home is not easy. It takes a lot of discipline and motivation which can be hard to maintain when a big flat screen TV is in the next room calling your name. There’s no one to reprimand you for taking a few breaks to catch up on the latest gossip or football scores, so you have to be the one to say, “No, I will sit here and work”. Somehow you have to separate your personal life from your professional life and this article is going to provide some tips on how to do this:
First, remove all distractions from the room you choose to work in. It can be motivating to have something close by that you can look forward to enjoying but if it’s sitting at arms length, staring you in the face while your trying to focus, the temptation sometimes becomes too much to withstand. So, move that nicely displayed PSP on your desk to a designated drawer in the next room and when break time comes, go for it!!!
Set a work schedule so that you know when those much needed break times are. Working from home allows you to start your workday when you feel the most motivation, but if you don’t organize your time, you might end up wasting that motivation on running errands, visiting with friends, or reading that addictive Stephanie Meyer book. No matter what schedule you decide is best, having a set time to start work and finish work helps you know when its time to buckle down and get things done. It also helps your friends and family know when it’s okay to call for a chat or bug you to take out the trash.
Get a virtual voicemail service that is catered for small businesses so that you can differentiate personal calls from business calls. VoiceNation provides this for as low as $9.95 a month with their SimplyONE service which lets you advertise a business number that is separate from your personal home or cell number; keeping your personal information anonymous but saving you the hassle of paying for a separate business phone system and business cell phone. Anytime you don’t see your VoiceNation number on your caller ID, you know it’s a call you should avoid taking until your workday is done.
Make your computer help you start your workday rather than lead you through a tireless search for entertainment. It is way too easy to log on and start tweeting or talking to friends on Facebook and from there the motivation to break away and get serious is harder to regain. Discipline yourself to check business e-mails first so that you get into work mode from the very beginning. If you follow my previous advice and get the SimplyONE service, checking your e-mails will also succeed in listening to your voice mails and retrieving your faxes. The service converts your voice mails to Mp3s and your faxes to PDFs which are then sent to email. This allows you to jump start your workday and not look back until lunch time. Also, if listening to music gets you in the mood to work, then create a playlist and click “play” as soon as you sit at your computer.
Get rid of the clutter that does nothing to help you work. The kid’s toys, unfolded laundry, and bills do not promote productivity in the least because they remind you of things that need to be done in your personal life. Remove these things or yourself from the room even if it means starting your workday later than usual. A change of scenery can be refreshing at times so take advantage of the clean dining room table or sunny patio but make sure to clear your workspace area at some point in the day so that it doesn’t haunt you later.
Get out of the house and take your work with you. This gives you a break from the same old scenery and may even provide a fresh perspective on a project in progress. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have to be there all the time. This is another instance where the SimplyONE service comes in handy because it ensures that your business calls follow you to the coffee shop or at least sends your voice mails to your laptop while you’re away. Make sure you go to a place where you aren’t likely to run into your friends but someplace you can feel comfortable.
Make it work for you!!! You alone have the power to make your at home business succeed. The biggest reason business people don’t experience positive results from working from home is because they set themselves up for failure.
For more information about VoiceNation and their services, please visit www.voicenation.com.
Written by Jacob C. Herman