So you have finally done it, you are working from home. Yes, the luxury of not getting up early. Dealing with commuters, traffic, parking space. You can now enjoy that cup of coffee or tea. You do not have to dress to impress or even worry about a bad hair day. Yep, you are in heaven.
Sorry to disappoint you, but you are going to have to rethink your game here.
Rule #1 – Set up a schedule
Yes…..yes….and yes. I did say it “Set up a schedule.” Why? You do not want to over-extend yourself or simply burn out. Yo want this to work, right? So set up a schedule.
Choose your the hours you want to work. If you want to work early morning, mid-day or late afternoon. Set your hours and stick to them. You are your own boss. These hours are not set in stone. Do a two-week schedule. See how that works for you. Do not forget to set as well your days off. You can have your weekend off, or every other weekend. Some people like to have one weekday and one weekend day off. Set your appointments around your work schedule, not the other way around. You are not free all the time and you do not have the luxury of missing a deadline because of it. You need to build a good solid reputation. If you do this, you will always have steady work.
Rule #2 – Do Take Your Breaks
Is a lot better and healthier if you take your breaks. Especially lunch or a dinner break. You do not want to gain extra weight by munching all day in front of your computer. Eat somewhere else. Do not eat in front of the computer. This is your workspace do not confine yourself. You will regret it.
If you have a patio area. Have your lunch there. Go to another room, enjoy your meal. If you are a smoker or a vaper. Do the same. Take your breaks. It has been proven people who stay home have a tendency to smoke or vape more.
Rule #3 – Get Out Of Bed
The bed is for sleeping and not for working. Have a designated work space. You will be more productive, it’s easy to manage, you will be more organized. Have a work computer, laptop or tablet for work only. Use your spare for leisure time. Do not mix work with your personal stuff. Do not check your email every second or think you will catch up on your twitter or facebook. You have a mission, you need to work to make money, pay your bills and save for your vacation.
Rule #4 – Budget
Yes, do a budget. You supposed to be saving money. That is the #1 reason you decided to work from home. Put aside the lunch money you were spending, the money you had for clothes and other things. Remember you are now responsible for your fast internet, a good workable computer and a phone. So make sure you have your priorities on your spending.
Rule #5 – Do Not Neglect Your Health
You are being less active now. You are not running up and down stairs. Jogging for the train or even walking two blocks from your parking place. You need to exercise. If you already do, another 15-minute workout will help. Meditate. It will keep your mind active.
Socialized more, you are alone for most of the day. You still need time to interact with others. Do not turn yourself into a hermit. Remember, if you are Freelancing, a contractor or an employee chances are; The company you are working for may not offer you a health insurance package so you will be responsible to get your own.
Rule #6 – No Pajamas
You can dress casually or even wear your house clothes. But do bathed and smell good. You will thank me later for this. Remember you want to give always the image you are employed not unemployed. The public is good at sensing how someone acts when you are employed. You always hold your head up high. You do not look like your scraping pennies when you go grocery shopping. You have a positive attitude about yourself. So always think positive.
Rule #7 – Do Not Be Ashamed or Apologetic
The work@home trend has been around for over 20 years. Now it’s becoming more popular. Your title is you want to choose one is, you are a “Telecommuter”, “Remote Agent”, ” An Out-Source Contractor”, “Freelancer”, or even a “Virtual Technician”. Do not sell yourself short by saying “I work from home.” Be proud of the company or companies you are working for. If you feel respected, you will be.
Rule #8 – Set Up Your Work Space
Be comfortable. Set up a desk, good chair for your back, a nice picture or even have your work area in front of a window. Make sure you have good lighting. You are not too cold, or drafty and you feel good where you have decided this is “work”.
When you are not working. Avoid the area altogether. This is where you go to work. You should sit in that area only for work, not for play.
Rule #9 – Avoid Burnout
Depending on your schedule and the type of work you are doing take a break. Go out! Do your research, go out and take pictures. Go window shopping. Go to the park, do something. You are not in jail. Get out of the house. Get some fresh air, Take the dog for a walk. It might help you think.
Rule #10 – Get Plenty of Rest
People who work from home, become workaholics. They just will not stop. Every waking moment they jump back into their “office” and go at it. Not good at all. When you are “off the clock” that is what it means. You are off work. Tomorrow is another day.
You need your rest. You need your sleep and you need to relax. You will not be productive to anybody if you crash.
Well, I hope these little rules help you out. I have done this on and off for the last 35 years.