As we’ve discussed in the past, working from home online can be a double-edged sword for many.
While some may prefer to be around the creature comforts that their home or apartment provides, these very creature comforts–from video games to social media to about a hundred other things–can get in the way of you achieving your goal: breaking free from the 9-5 rat race and becoming your own boss.
So to avoid spending your day chatting with your friends or doing whatever else is taking away you from the time you could be spending making money from home, here are some helpful tips to keep you focused.
Working From Home Online: How To Avoid Wasting Time
Figure Out What Works for You
So there are plenty of articles like this online and many of them are helpful, but they’re also awfully…prescriptive.
By that I mean not everyone wants to have breakfast first thing upon waking up or go for a jog.
These are all great practices, but more often than not, they are what works best for that author and not always their readership.
Now, that said, figuring out a routine is essential to being successful when working from home online.
I’m naturally a night person and tend to get a lot of my best work done when everyone else is asleep. Does that mean I have to sacrifice one for the other?
No, but it does mean I need to find a nice middle ground.
When I plan my week out well in advance, I figure out the nights that I can afford to stay up late; nights when I don’t have, say, a 10am client call.
And of course, the early bird really does get the worm. Crashing at 2pm is just not an option when you need to be accessible and responsive to any incoming requests or leads.
So do establish a schedule, but don’t beat yourself up over not always sticking to it. Self-discipline takes time and as long as you’re making progress that you can truly see, then you’re golden.
Turn Off Social Media When Possible
OK, if you’re a fashion blogger or someone for whom social media is a big part of your livelihood, you can basically ignore this step.
But for the rest of us, even us bloggers, social media can be the bane of productivity.
You’re finally past that intro or into the groove updating your product inventory and then before you know it, you’re in some Facebook flame war over…well, it doesn’t really matter now, does it?
Because you’re now behind schedule and maybe won’t produce as good of an article or missed a mistake you wouldn’t have normally.
And we’re not saying any social media, not in the least. It can be a very good way to take a break and blow off some steam. Just stay mindful of how much you’re using it and whether it’s cutting into your productivity.
It can be a very good way to take a break and blow off some steam. Just stay mindful of how much you’re using it and whether it’s cutting into your productivity.
Now this might seem like a no-brainer once you start working from home, but trust us, it’s also something you can easily forget to do once things really get going.
But let’s say you’ve been stuck on an article all afternoon or are struggling to come up with that new digital marketing technique that will make your business truly stand out. Is sitting there for another few hours until the day is over really going to get the job done?
Try running an errand, taking a walk, or doing something else like sports that will clear your mind and get things moving again. It’s
It’s all-too-easy to start to stagnate when working from home online, especially when it’s just you.
Get out. See people. Get some sunshine.
And don’t lose perspective!
Keep a List and Keep Checking It
This last one is born from both seeing other articles advocate ways to make sure you get everything and figuring out what works for me.
Personally, I keep somewhat organized trifecta of calendar reminders, alerts, and alarms to make sure I don’t forget anything.
But what about forgetting to put something into your calendar? That’s perhaps an almost greater danger than missing a deadline.
If the time is coming for you to have something to show and you just don’t, communicate with your client and customer and let them know you’ll just need another 24 hours or however long you need to turn in the best product.
That looks so much better than just forgetting to turn something in without providing any advanced notice.
So yes, organization and self-discipline are absolutely key to working from home online.
But how you implement a system that works for you is entirely dependent on knowing what works for you. So take a hard, long look at yourself and then start taking over the world from your living room!