Adjust to Working At Home

6 Tips to Make the Transition from Job to Home Business

home office
Make the transition to working at home easy.. Cultura/Maiwolf Photography | Getty Image

 

The first week I worked at home, I slept in, watched DVDs of my favorite old TV shows, took the kids to the park or pool and maybe did some laundry. What I didn't do was work. Making the adjustment to working at home can be more challenging than many believe. Even if you're more organized than I am, there are distractions and other challenges that can get in the way of productivity. Or, it’s possible you’ll work so much that you’ll burn out and/or hurt your family relationships.

Here are some tips to making the adjustment to working at home:

1) Have a work place. It’s easier than you can imagine for work and personal life to bleed together when you work from home. The best way to have focus on work is to have a space that is only for work. While many successful entrepreneurs started their business at the kitchen table or bedroom (I started in a coat closet in my living room), these are not the best choices for home office set up. It’s too easy to get distracted by dirty dishes, laundry sitting on the bed or the television. Ideally, you want an office space with a door. If you can’t manage that, use screens or other barriers to set apart office-only space. Not only will this help you focus and be productive, it’s crucial aspect to taking the home office tax deduction.

2) Have a plan. Do you know what you need to do the minute you sit at your desk? Surprisingly, it takes many people time to orient themselves and figure out what needs to get done.

Having a plan insures that you know what tasks you need to complete and get right to it the minute your butt hits your office chair. Because home businesses require you to wear many hats (product or service, marketing, customer support etc), be strategic in setting up your daily plan. Productivity is less about great time management and more about strategic focus.

3) Have a schedule and stick to it. Some home business require a set schedule like traditional work does, but some have no schedule. It's the work that is completely flexible that can be difficult to get done, unless you have a schedule. Set up regular work hours to keep you focused and on task, and avoid distractions. Once you have your schedule, stick to it. Arrive on time and leave at the end of the work day.

4) Set limits. Neighbors, friends and family often don't understand that the work you do at home is as important as the work you do in a office. As a result they'll ask you run errands, invite you to lunch and call to chat. Let them know your schedule and ask them to respect it just as they would if you were working outside the home.

5) Anticipate and avoid distraction. Some distractions can be avoided through a separate office, schedule and setting limits, but other distractions, such as children, pets, the refrigerator, TV and a nice comfy couch perfect for napping can interrupt work.

Take a look at your life and habits to identify potential distractions and put things in place to avoid them. For example, look into play groups to keep your kids busy while you work.

6) Have fun and enjoy your independence! Having a home business is work, but there’s nothing quite like being your own boss. The more enjoy your work and take advantage of the perks, the faster you adjust to working from home. Sometimes working at home can get tedious, and it isn’t until I’m talking to someone who has to commute and deal with difficult colleagues that I’m reminded how lucky I am. Some things I do to have fun and celebrate my independence include working on the deck, taking a nap in the middle of the day, and working half-days on Friday.

Continue Reading...