Your Work At Home Career: Tips for Maintaining Balance and Working Smarter

So you’ve chosen to work at home and be your own boss.  The deal is exciting and holds a huge potential in a fast-growing industry.  Who could resist the opportunity of working independently, enjoying flexible work hours and getting paid in the process?  It’s an opportunity you’d either be too crazy or too in love with your current job to pass up on.  Is this where you want to make your mark?  Here are tips to help you maintain the balance between home and work and learn not just to work harder but to work smarter:

Have a physically defined work space

How you perceive things in your surrounding can have a big impact on how you perform in your work at home tasks.  This is why experts often discourage work-at-home individuals to avoid using the bedroom as their home office.  Being in a place of rest and relaxation may be calming to you but it can also tempt you too much to allow you to focus on the job at hand.

Instead, look for a space in your home that can be used as a small home office.  This space must be as far away from the commonly used areas such as the dining room or living room.  If that’s not possible, you should be able to put up a curtain, a divider or a table to designate a particular space as a dedicated area for your home office.

The purpose is simple: it should look like an office to inspire you to work.  At the same time, it should also be unmistakable to other house members as an area of business.  Otherwise, children, spouses and friends will simply invade the space and pretty soon make it look just like every other space in the house.  A designated work space should be able to give you enough privacy and let you work undisturbed.

Treat your home office as a home office

Do not allow people in your household to bring non-work related items into your home office.  These include your children’s homework, utensils, the TV remote, toys, laundry, etc.  If your children are old enough, explain to them why the home office has to be off limits at certain times of the day.  You’ll find this arrangement highly beneficial when you’re working online on a deadline or on an especially challenging project.

Honor your schedule

Of course, no one’s stopping you from waking up late and starting work late.  There’s no boss to breathe down your neck and push you to perform.  But this is also a disadvantage, particularly if you allow it to go too far.  Pretty soon, you’ll find that there are a dozen unfinished projects and work-related tasks that need your attention all at the same time.

Best to stick to a reasonable weekly schedule.  If you must skip a few hours, make sure you pay for it later on through extra work.  Your work hours don’t need to be set as a regular schedule, say, a 9-to-6 or a 10-to-5 thing.  The idea is to make sure you set aside a good number of hours each day to manage and complete your work-at-home projects and tasks without sacrificing the time you will be spending with your family.

Pick your projects

When you’re still starting out and trying to build your reputation as a work-at-home person, it can be difficult to be choosy about the projects you accept.  However, as you progress, you’ll be able to determine which projects are worthwhile and which ones aren’t ROI-friendly.

Projects that take a while to research and complete, for example, may prove to be a waste of your time if they can’t quite compensate for the effort and resources you had to invest.  Learn to judge projects that offer you a better deal.  It may be difficult to refuse some projects now but once you’ve gotten your momentum and are quite used to the work-at-home set-up, you should be able to choose only projects that offer you the best deals.

Set standards and measures of progress

It will help a great deal if you set goals at the beginning.  They don’t have to be ultra-serious goals and visions – just write down the kind of things you want to accomplish and how you plan to complete them.

Standards let you compare your completed tasks and projects against a measure of quality.  That way, you advance further in your career as a work-at-home person.  You want to be able to compete with thousands of others like you.  To do so, you should be able to maintain excellent results in your work.  This will help establish you as a reliable source of service and help build your reputation online.


Comments are closed.