By G. William Kazimer
Working from home is everyone’s dream. When you just need an Internet connection and one or more mobile apps to make money, you can set your schedule, decide where you want to work and what you want to do, and enjoy a lot more freedom than you could if you had to put on work-appropriate clothes and drive to the office.
Of course, if you’re going to work from home, you’re going to face a few unique challenges that you may never have had to deal with before. For example, while working from home can be a lot of fun, there are also a lot of distractions that can keep you from the task at hand. Likewise, some people end up missing workplace camaraderie and feeling lonely.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
Whether you’re building your career as a freelancer, you’re growing a small business, or you’re doing a variety of different jobs in the shared economy, you’ll need a routine to keep you on track. Get up at the same time every morning and write out a plan for the day. Then start checking things off your list of tasks.
Experiment with creating the best schedule and routine for your working style and the kinds of tasks you want to do. For example, if you’re driving for a ride sharing company, you’ll likely get more fares in the evenings and on weekends than you will in the middle of a weekday. So it makes more sense to get other work done earlier in the day. Then you can schedule a nice break before you “clock in” as a driver for the evening.
KNOW YOUR DISTRACTIONS
If you’re like a lot of people, there will be days when you’re completely focused and able to get everything done in very little time, no matter where you are. Other days, you’ll have trouble staying on task and you’ll be looking for excuses to do anything but work. When those days happen, it’s good to know which distractions you’re most susceptible to.
At home, your distractions could be the TV, laundry, dirty dishes, or that book that you’ve been meaning to finish. To avoid these, you might want to pack up your computer and phone, and head out to a coffee shop to work until you’re done with what you need to do for the day. On the other hand, if you’re more likely to be distracted by people around you having conversations or the temptation to log on to Facebook or Instagram, you might do better staying at home but limiting your Internet access until you’re done.
Finally, reward yourself whenever possible. Give yourself short breaks throughout the day to play online, go for a walk, or give in to some distraction. If you know that you’re more productive at home but you miss working with others, give yourself one day a week to work in a coffee shop. The more you reward yourself for staying on task and being productive, the easier it’ll be.
Develop these habits as you join the movement to change the future of work, and you’ll find that your career will grow faster than you ever thought possible.