5 Prizes To Keep Yourself Motivated At Home. You Might Think #4 May Be Impossible!
Working from home conjures up all kinds of images. Perhaps you imagine yourself sitting at a beautiful mahogany desk looking out a bay window at the majestic mountains or scenic ocean view. You open your shiny new laptop and poise your fingers over the sleek keyboard. Finally you are able to make your work from home dreams happen.
An hour later you’ve gotten through your emails, caught up with friends on social media, checked the weather and made a quick gift purchase. You vow to turn your attention back to your work and stay focused the rest of the day. Meanwhile, the kids are up, your spouse is dashing about getting ready for work outside the home (you smile secretly thankful that it’s not you). Before you know it, you’re forced to take a break to help get your family out the door for the day.
It’s nearly mid-morning by the time you’re able to return to your gorgeous new desk. You sit down and crank out some work for a bit. You start to get hungry, the dog needs to go out, you have voicemails and texts blinking on your smartphone. Still, you are proud of yourself for all you’ve accomplished before noon by simply ignoring your phone. After a quick sandwich and brisk walk with the dog you’re back at it again and then remember those messages. Just a quick peek you think…
By now you get the picture. Working at home requires discipline and focus. While it inherently provides more flexibility, you’ll need to learn to adapt to ever evolving dynamics.
1) Make Daily To Do Lists
There’s lots of talk about keeping home and work separate when working from home. Depending on the type of work you do this might be possible. More commonly though, over time, the two blend and flex. Eventually for those who strive toward it, it is possible to find a wonderful balance between prioritizing family and building a location independent business. Can you imagine it? It’s indeed possible. And millions of people around the world are doing it.
At the end of each day, make a To Do List for the next day. Unless you live alone, your To Do List will include your family’s needs too. In fact, those will come before your work related To Do’s. See this article by Forbes for some great To Do List applications…
Be sure to write down things like activities, meetings, aging parent needs, meals, shopping, home care and so on, followed by work related tasks including brainstorming, researching, writing, responding to emails, article, publishing, etc. Yes, the list seems endless but lists help keep you focused and on track.
2) Find Optimal Work Times
Most of us know when our biorhythmic peak times of productivity are. Whether you’re a morning, mid-day, night or wee hours person, shift your routine activities to different times of the day, allowing you to work on your home based business during higher energy times.
That’s not to say you can’t train yourself to be productive during other parts of the day or night. Just as families grow and change and have “seasons” (i.e., baby up all night, teen sleeping all morning), you can learn to go with the household clock flow.
The key is to plan as much as possible to work on deep thinking projects when you’re most alert and list out smaller, routine tasks at times when you’re more likely to be interrupted. Tap into your body’s “clock” to find the best times for working. Lifehacker offers some excellent Q&As to help master your clock…
Flexibility and creative scheduling top the list of benefits of working from home. You do not need to work at the same time every day or even during “business hours.” In fact, if you have an online business, there are business hours available 24/7.
3) Claim Your Workspace
A mahogany desk is not a necessity for work at home success, of course. Heck, with the rise in mobile devices, desks may become a thing of the past anyway. Whatever your situation is, whether you have a dedicated room you can turn into an office or a corner of the busy family room that suits your needs, claim your workspace and define it to your family.
Your family needs to respect your work space however you’ve defined it. For example, it might make sense to have a hands off rule for your laptop or tablet. The last thing you need is to have important project you’ve spend hours developing for a client accidentally deleted by the kids.
Browse a few home workspace photos to spark ideas for creating and claiming yours…
4) Create Boundaries With Family and Friends
Put boundaries on your work time when family is home. But keep the meaning of “flexibility” front and center. Boundaries that are met most of the time help you keep your focus far more than setting none at all. Remember, it takes time to integrate the work from home lifestyle into family life.
Other boundaries that are helpful to set with family and friends might include…
* No calls or texts (unless emergency)
* Avoid loud activities between 9AM – 2PM
* No dropping by or sending kids over to play unannounced
* TV watching near your workspace can only happen after 2PM
5) Reward Yourself For Achievements
On those days when you feel like you’ve gotten a lot of work done on your business, reward yourself with something special. Let’s say the kids played quietly while you finished writing an article so you could meet a deadline. Take them to the park afterwards and while you’re on your way thank them for respecting your work by being quiet. Explain how important they are to you and how work is important too in order to take care of things that cost money like food, clothing and school. Praise them, reward them and you and before you know it a pattern will start to develop where you’ll see more and more of those focused, accomplished days working from home.
Whether you have a beautiful desk overlooking a scenic view or work at the kitchen table with little ones nearby, the key to working from home successfully is being disciplined about…
* Making To Do lists
* Finding optimal work times
* Claiming your workspace
* Creating boundaries
* Rewarding yourself for achievements
Being intentional about these will help you keep your focus and balance the work/home lifestyle. Subscribe to the SiteSell blog to receive more great tips for working at home.