Working From Home: Tips for Success
Working from home sounds like a dream come true. That is, it sounds great until the dog won’t stop barking, the kids are screaming, and you find yourself staring at the computer screen without any motivation. Don’t worry! Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or a remote worker, it sometimes helps to have reminders about what habits to build. Here are a 13 working from home tips for success anyone can follow.
1. Set goals.
Take some time to think about what your goals are for the day and jot them down. Having a list of attainable goals will help you to stay motivated for success.
2. Structure your day like you would in the office.
Home businesses are great for the person who wants to set their own schedules, but many people often have difficulty drawing the line between home and work when their work is at home. Just like a 9–5 job, you should have time when you work and time when you don’t. If you’re used to taking your lunch at 1:00, don’t change that routine! If you typically save your phone calls for the afternoon, don’t start doing them in the morning. The more you act like you’re in an office, the more productive you will be.
3. Don’t work in your PJs.
Would you show up to your office in pajamas? Of course not! Get up in the morning and put yourself together. While you don’t have to get dressed up, set a standard of professionalism to adhere to daily.
4. Set expectations for your kids.
Expectations for your kids will vary depending on their ages. For example, you can’t tell a baby not to bother you while you’re placing orders. However, if your children are old enough to have certain boundaries, make sure they know when it is and is not okay to interrupt you while you’re working. As your kids get older and their independence grows, this will become less of an issue. An example of a healthy expectation is asking your kids to do their homework as soon as they get home so you can finish up your workday by the time their homework is finished.
5. Try to adhere to a consistent morning routine.
Whether your kids are barely able to walk or balancing school, sports, and other activities, a consistent morning routine will help you start each day off on the right foot. Not only will this give your kiddos a schedule to adhere to, but it will also help you get in the right mindset for the day. Different schedules work for different people, but as long as you come out of your morning routine feeling productive and on top of things, that’s all that matters.
6. Allow yourself some flexibility with your routine.
Let’s face it: kids won’t always adhere to the schedule you set. If your kids are home with you all day, odds are they’ll walk in on an important phone call, make a mess while you’re placing an order, or require your attention when you’ve only gotten one thing done on your to-do list. Instead of becoming frustrated, try to allow yourself some flexibility in your routine. We recommend sorting your list by priority—start with the most important thing you have to do, then work your way down form there. That way, if something comes up that disrupts your work, you’ll have gotten the most important tasks out of the way.
Also think about your own schedule preferences. Not everyone is a morning person. If you’re more productive in the afternoon or evening, build your schedule around those times.
7. Use a planner, note-taking, or task-management app.
This tip is especially useful for people who may not be good at keeping a schedule or staying on-track. Stay organized and keep track of everything from day one! Some great options include Evernote, Things 3, and Any.do.
8. Don’t stay at home.
The best thing about working from home is not having to stay home! If you find you’re not being productive at home, you can pick up your laptop and drive to the library, coffee shop, or other location.
9. Take breaks.
Working from home means you have freedom; go out to lunch, spend time with your family, or go for a walk. It can be tempting to stare at your computer all day, especially once you see how successful you can be, but it is important to step away occasionally and take some time for yourself.
10. Make it harder for yourself to get on social media.
Social media is great for promoting your business, but before you know it, a few minutes turns into an hour. Put your phone in another room, set goals for yourself to complete before you can pick your phone back up, or try another technique to keep you on track! One time management system is the Pomodoro Technique. The idea is to break tasks into manageable periods of time, such as three 25-minute sessions, with short breaks in between each. There are several apps that utilize this method, including the Bear Focus Timer.
11. Give yourself time off to get things done.
While you may not get a day off parent duty, you should give yourself time off work. That being said, those days off can be really helpful prep days to get you and your family ready for the rest of the week. Do some meal prep, run errands, and deep-clean the house while you have the time. This will save you time and energy during the week.
12. Build a support system.
Networking is important when running a home business. If you find people in similar situations, keep them close as they can not only relate to you, but support you, and help you grow your business.
Parents: Ask for help when you need it.
Even though we believe working moms and dads are superheroes, we also believe that superheroes have sidekicks for a reason. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, neighbors, or a babysitting service if you’re having trouble juggling everything. This can be especially helpful when you have a lot of meetings or a fast-approaching deadline.
13. Don’t get discouraged.
Starting a home business of your very own can be difficult. Distractions are everywhere! Try to keep the big picture in mind. Stick with it through the first few sales and you will find that the process will become easier and more rewarding.
If you’re looking to work from home, check out Kaeser & Blair! You have full flexibility to work when you want, where you want, and how much you want. Learn more about our package options and start your career today!