Post from Supporting Contributor Jenna
To many people, the idea of working from home is nothing less than a dream come true. Indeed, not everyone has this luxury available to them. Being able to actually go somewhere with one’s career and never having to step into a traditional office environment can be incredibly enticing.
Working from home isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, though. Many people who have previously worked in a traditional setting find it difficult to make the switch, as it is truly a much different day-to-day lifestyle and requires some adjustment time.
Once you learn how to streamline your workday, you’ll find the week to be far easier to manage. Take the following tips into consideration, and don’t hesitate to adapt them to suit your work habits.
Get Your Utilities Figured Out
It’s difficult to get anything done in an office setting – home or not – if any of your utilities are out of whack. Fast Internet service, for example, is a crucial part of any home office, as is a dedicated telephone line.
Times are changing, however. Many people feel as if they can handle everything straight from their smart phone and laptop. While you might not need a fax machine much longer, things like this can not only help to make your day easier, but can also legitimize your business to clients.
You could give out your cell phone number, but you’ll turn heads far more easily with a customized business phone number. TollFreeForwarding allows you to have a custom easy-to-remember phone number for your clients to remember. Finally, be sure you implement a voice-mail service that will not only allow you to check your voice-mails via email, but also doesn’t cut off the amount of messages you can store. As anyone who runs a business knows, voice-mails can pile up extremely fast.
Stay Away from “Time Wasting Sites”
In many traditional offices, certain sites are banned from employees’ viewing. This isn’t because there is anything inherently wrong with visiting sites like Facebook and YouTube, but there’s no denying the fact that these sites can be a major waste of time and can cut into productivity.
When you are your own boss, you’ve got no choice but to police yourself and stray clear of sites that might serve to waste your time. There are a handful of programs that you can download which put a lock on which sites you can visit during the workday, but you’ll get more mileage out of simply using willpower, which can apply to many different aspects of work.
The downside to all of this is that many people have to use social media for marketing purposes, which is why it’s important to be able to recognize when it’s necessary to visit these sites and when you’re simply doing it out of boredom.
Create a Daily Production Schedule
The hardest part of building a career at home often comes down to keeping track of everything you’ve got going on work-wise. Lacking an organized schedule can not only make it harder to stay productive, but can cause you to miss deadlines and lose clients.
It is essential that you spend at least a small chunk of each morning putting together a production schedule for the day. Try to block things out, scheduling a portion of your day for business development and other important “to-dos” and devoting the rest of your time to clients and projects. Taking this approach allows you to cross things off a list, which is the best way to find true satisfaction once you’ve finished a task.
It may seem like a headache, but taking just a few minutes to create a daily schedule can actually save you from the headaches associated with a disorganized workflow.
Working from home certainly takes a unique mindset, but once you get it all figured out, it can be a very relaxing lifestyle.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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