How to Stay Focused When Working From Home
With the advancements in technology, the number of work-at-home jobs available has increased, and these provide a great way to increase your household income. Data entry, graphic design, coding, transcription, typing, blogging, serving as a virtual assistant, and freelance writing are just some of the types of jobs that can be done from home. You won’t require any additions to your wardrobe, and your transportation costs will be nil. To be successful at it, however, you will need to create an environment that will enable you to stay focused on the task at hand. Here are some pointers to help you do this:
- Create a productive workspace. You should establish a separate space in your home that will be dedicated to your work. A room with a door that you can close is ideal, but, at a minimum, try to cordon off an area that will provide you with both a physical and mental separation from household tasks to reduce distractions. If young children are in the picture, you might consider joining a babysitting co-op and/or doing the majority of your work during times when they are asleep. Equip your space with the tools necessary to do your job effectively and efficiently—a desk that is sufficiently large, a comfortable chair, a computer loaded with any software your job might require, a convenient filing system, a bookcase for any printed reference material you might want, and headphones and/or earplugs to block out noises are some of the things to consider. An attractive setting will also add to your production capabilities since you will be less likely to feel like you’re holed up in a dungeon. Artwork, sports posters and/or memorabilia, pictures of family and friends, and souvenirs reminding you of trips you might not have been able to take were it not for this income source are among some of the items you might find inviting and motivating.
- Write down a list of goals. You should establish clear, attainable, and measurable goals—both short-term and long-term—and write them down. For example, a short-term goal for a coder might be to write so many lines of code a day. A freelance writer might have a goal of sending out a minimum number of query letters a day or completing a set number of articles each week. A blogger might have a goal of obtaining a certain number of advertisers for his site by the end of the month. Someone who is currently engaged in general transcription work might have a long-term goal of completing the necessary training to do specialized transcriptions, such as medical transcriptions. You can also set monetary goals: I want to grow my home business and be able to generate total revenue of $20,000 this year. Writing down your goals helps keep you centered.
- Establish a schedule. One of the greatest benefits of working from home is the flexibility it provides, but flexibility should not be confused with haphazard hours. Occasional deviations are fine, but you should establish “normal” working hours for yourself—and inform your friends and family about them. They will be less likely to interrupt you with phone calls or impromptu visits. Perform your morning ritual, just as you would if you were going to work in an office—shower, dress, eat breakfast, brush your teeth–and schedule time for breaks and lunch. It is also helpful if you can designate one or two specific times a day for responding to work-related calls and emails.
- Organize your work. Write project due dates on your calendar and create daily to-do lists to ensure you will be able to meet those due dates. This is especially important when you are working on assignments for several clients. You need to be able to deliver when promised if you want to be successful, and organizing your work in this manner will help you stay on task.
By following these few simple guidelines, you will be able to build your home business—and your income—faster than you might think possible. But it won’t happen if you don’t get started, so set that coffee aside and get to work on it now.