Making sure you actually work when you work from home!

Mon, Jun 14, 2010

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You will have to train yourself and have a lot of will power. The idea of working from home is desirable, but how easy is it to get the work done. The key to a successful working practice is routine.

Once you are up and the kids are off to school, make sure you get straight into a working mode. This may sound silly but dress as if you are going in to the office or meeting important clients. You will feel better about your working day if you are dressed for the occasion. Wearing pyjamas and dressing gown will make you feel lazy and you will act in a less efficient manner.

Ensure you have had a sufficient breakfast. It is scientifically proven that people who eat a healthy breakfast will have higher levels of concentration and be able to get things done more effectively and quickly.

Have a set working time allowing times for breaks and lunch but don’t take liberties. For example, try to minimise mid-morning breaks to no more than 15 minutes and no more than an hour for lunch.

However tempting it may be, do not get sidetracked with housework and other chores that you would not be doing if you were in an office. Plan to do housework in the evenings, or before you start your working day.

Make sure that you have a comfortable working environment, an office away from the distractions of children, TV’s and radios is ideal but many people don’t have the money to have a separate office space. If this is the case ensure that you have enough space to work, with orderly files and room for other equipment obviously dependant on the type of work you are doing. Make sure on a weekend that you will have everything you need for your week at work; you do not want to be preoccupied with going to the shop and getting pens and paper at 11am on a Monday morning.

It is a good idea that you invest in a second telephone line dedicated to your business calls. Tell your friends and family not to contact you at home during the day. If it is an emergency, such as your children’s school phoning about a sick child then make sure they have your cell phone number, that way you will know that it is an emergency.

Make a list of things that need doing and stick too it. It may seem a bore to have a list but when you physically see things getting ticked off your list you will start to get a sense of confidence in your abilities.

Try to have targets to work towards, that way your workload will be worthwhile, make them small targets so that they are more attainable.

Don’t work yourself to death, you are allowed to have breaks but make sure they are at the allotted times. At the end of your day, tidy things away and make a to do list for tomorrow. Spend an hour or so quality time with your family before you even think about doing chores. That way, when you are working throughout the day you will be working towards your reward with the family or some other element of your life that you enjoy doing.

Remember not everyone is suited to working from home, if it is not for you then maybe consider some other place of work. However, if it is a necessity stick at it and keep to your routine.

Hopefully as your business grows you will be able to take more time doing what you want to do each day…but until then, its routine time!!

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20 Responses to “Making sure you actually work when you work from home!”

  1. lesly Says:

    How true! You really have to keep an eye on yourself when working at home because of all the distractions! I’ve gotten a lot better at it.. there are times when I goof off though. But really, you really have to stay focused and you gave some very good suggestions. Thank you!
    lesly´s last blog ..What Numbness Does My ComLuv Profile


  2. Lori Robertson Says:

    Beth, when I first started to work at home it was really hard because I had time to watch all of my favorite shows and the soap operas and I did not get as much done as I should have until I took the 30 cleanse. I did not watch tv or listen to the radio for 30 days, that turned into months and eventually an entire year. Now I do not desire it at all but I do take a break but my habit is so strong that I feel like I am not being productive and I get back to work.

    Lori Robertson´s last blog ..How To Dramatically Boost Your Brand With 1 Strategy & In 5 Simple Steps My ComLuv Profile


  3. Stacy Says:

    You are so right! When working for yourself it takes a lot more self motivation than having someone telling you what to do! Taking time to have a plan for the day is the only way to really have success. It can be too easy to get distracted and find yourself asking, “What exactly did I do all day?”
    Stacy´s last blog ..The Significance of Insignificance My ComLuv Profile


  4. Saleem Rana Says:

    So true. It took me a long time to learn these ideas, and what has helped me to do it is the affirmation, “I use my time and energy wisely today.” But one thing, I have not been able to do is figure out how to handle people interrupting me just when I’m in the flow of work. That’s when I wish I had a little office away from home.
    Saleem Rana´s last blog ..Keyword Tips, Part I: The Value Of Keywords My ComLuv Profile


  5. Val Wilcox Says:

    You’ve provided some great tips to be aware of when working from home. It’s easy to become distracted and pulled off course by life. Setting yourself a timeline or limits will assist you in completing your desired results. Taking short breaks to shake out the cobwebs helps. :)

    Thanks for sharing your ideas,
    Val :)
    Val Wilcox´s last blog ..It’s All About The Story My ComLuv Profile


  6. Beth Allen Says:


    You are absolutely right, working from home is not for everyone ~ it takes a unshakable commitment, focus and drive to stay organized and efficient with your time.

    There are SO many distractions, so I really appreciate all the tips you’ve shared here. Truly SO important! Thanks!
    Beth Allen´s last blog ..Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude My ComLuv Profile


  7. Belinda Cunningham Says:

    What a great list of tips, I like get dressed as if going out or to an office. I think this would also help to allow me to feel I am really working not just doing a hobby while on social networking sites. ANy excuse will do.
    Belinda Cunningham´s last blog ..Reward your readers with Commentluv My ComLuv Profile


    bethhewitt80 Reply:

    Dress for Succes!!


  8. Julie Elliott Says:

    Hello Beth. great post, I agree, you really need to plan and organize everything so you can be productive, sometimes can be very challenging but all worth it in the end. I find having everything set and down gives you space to breath and worry less about other things and focus on what you need to be doing. I look forward to your next blog. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Julie Elliott´s last blog ..The Power of what you think and journaling My ComLuv Profile


  9. Joanna Sayers Says:

    Hi Beth,
    Even though I’ve worked from home for years, it’s always good to have a reminder of how we’re supposed to do it .. it’s easy to slip into bad habits. The most difficult aspect, for me, is having all the daily chores ’staring’ at me whilst I’m working. My husband also works from home but it’s still me that has to remember all the kid/school stuff .. oh well, guess us girls are just better at multi-tasking!!

    Great post, keep up the good work!

    Joanna :)
    Joanna Sayers´s last blog ..Pace Your Race My ComLuv Profile


    bethhewitt80 Reply:

    well that goes without say Joanna hehe!


  10. Debbie Stevens Says:

    Hi Beth,

    How true your words of wisdom are on this subject! It is so very easy to become distracted with things that eat up your time. There were a lot of helpful hints for creating discipline, but my favorite was making sure that you have a comfortable working environment. For awhile my home office was not appealing nor comfortable. It was a lot easier for me to go to work and get things done once I made my office a place I wanted to be. Thanks for sharing.
    Debbie Stevens´s last blog ..Getting the Connection My ComLuv Profile


  11. Bruce Backman Says:

    Hey Beth…I have worked out of my home most of my life. I can relate to these things. You make great points. If you can figure out the right balances between work and all of the other “pressing” things at home…it can be a super rewarding experience. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
    Bruce Backman´s last blog ..What I have been up to these past few weeks-Crushers College and other exciting stuff My ComLuv Profile


  12. Kevin M. Says:

    Great tips! Very helpful!
    Kevin M.´s last blog ..Favourite Links Friday 6/18/10 My ComLuv Profile


  13. Teresa Ivory Says:

    Great points you make here, Beth! I’m always struggling with distractions and find myself cleaning the kitchen after lunch out of habit. When I realize I’m all involved in scrubbing the sink, I have to put my “office hat” back on and get back to my computer. Thanks for the great reminder!
    Teresa Ivory´s last blog ..Success Stories: Venus Recommends My ComLuv Profile


  14. Eddie Espiritu Says:


    What has helped me to work from home is every day, I make a list of the top 5 to 6 tasks I must accomplish that day and I stay focused on them until they are done. This simple exercise has helped me stay focused and disciplined. I love working from home because when I do take a break, I can spend some time with my wife and kids!
    Eddie Espiritu´s last blog ..Would You Like Fries With That? My ComLuv Profile


  15. Tim Somers Says:

    I’ve been back at home now for seven years - it’s I have always treated my work day just like I did when I worked the business from a building. I set the alarm, I shower and dress for success. Start and stop pretty much the same time every single day. Ok so once and a while I do have a liquid lunch with the kids…a dip in the pool on those hot summer days.
    Tim Somers´s last blog ..Relationship Building Strategies For Building Your Business My ComLuv Profile


  16. Adam Sheck Says:

    Thanks so much for these great tips for working from home. I am always struggling with the issues of organization and discipline in having a home office, so I definitely appreciate your suggestions.
    Adam Sheck´s last blog ..Can’t Buy Me Love: How Do Finances Affect Your Relationship? My ComLuv Profile


  17. Lucas Flynn Says:

    What you said in this blog is absolutely right when the line between home and work gets blurred; things can get a little complicated. I feel what we actually require is a lot of disciplines to make sure you’re staying at the top of your game when you’re not in an office. You know yourself best -do the hard self-evaluation before you commit to the idea of a home office and be self motivated. I really appreciate her perspective that of make sure to get enough time with our own family.


    bethhewitt80 Reply:

    Hey Lucas,

    Thank you for your comment, you are right it’s all about the discipline.

    Beth :)


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