I’m lucky to be in a position where I can do what I love, while working from home. Thanks to the Internet people all over the world take advantage of this same luxury. I will warn you there’s an art to working from home, especially if you have a family. Here are some of my tricks:
1. Establishing a Working Environment
Creating a designated workspace shows your family when you’re working. If your house permits, create an office space for yourself. If your home doesn’t afford the space, create an office space with a desk in a well-lit area that will allow you to organize your files and stay on task.
2. Setting Boundaries
Kids and spouses are notorious for looking in and asking for your help while you’re in the middle of working. Not only is this a huge distraction, it disrupts your entire work flow. To make matters worse my home office has a window, which makes it easy to see both in and out. For that reason, I close the curtain when I’m focused. This way my family knows that closed blinds mean “Do Not Disturb.”
3. Time - Management
Working from home is all about time-management and when your family is just outside your office door, it’s easy to get distracted. Just like working in an office you need to commit yourself to a full day’s work and the best way to keep yourself on track is to create a calendar with office hours. Here’s what a typical day looks like for me:
- 6:00 - 7:00: Go to the gym
- 7:30 - 8:30: Work
- 8:30 - 9:00: Have breakfast and get the kids ready for school
- 9:00 - 3:00: Work solidly
- 3:00 - 8:00: Family time
- 8:00 - 10:00: Work
Working from home gives you the flexibility to work around your schedule. If you add up all my hours, I still work around 9-hours a day. As long as you make a schedule and stay on track, you’ll be productive.
4. Hire a Nanny
This is about being honest with yourself and your employer. If you’re not being productive because you’re too busy attending to your children, it may be time for you to hire a Nanny. Even if only means for a couple hours a day, having someone to get your kids to school or keep them entertained can make all the difference. If you’re worried about the price, hiring a teen or a college student is a cheaper alternative.
One of the best things about working from home is that you get to work close to your family. At the same time though, they can be your biggest distraction. Establishing boundaries and creating routines is the hardest part about working from home but once you have a system established I guarantee you’ll never be happier.