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When I first decided I to work at home, I wanted to quit my job right then. But for most people, quitting your job today and working at home tomorrow isn’t realistic. Instead, you need to build your home-based income around your work and family schedule. Although this takes time, it’s the safest and most responsible way to work from home. Adding income on the side builds a nest egg and allows you develop the skills and systems you need to be successful when you do quit your job. Here are some tips to building a work-at-home career around a job.
1) Set goals. Without goals, it’s too easy to slack off on your work-at-home project. You should set a goal date for quitting your job as well as task goals designed to move you from where you are now to where you need to be on your quit date.
2) Get rid of non-essential tasks. I’m reading a really good book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. It’s a little different from most books that discuss how to prioritize and focus on what’s important. It starts by reminding you that you have choices including letting non-essential stuff dictate your life. Instead, he says to choose to say ‘no’ and get rid of activities that don’t move you toward your goals whether that’s to spend more time with family or make money from home. Getting rid of non-essentials might mean that you stop doing some activities or it might mean delegating or hiring someone to do them.
3) Prioritize. It’s easier to prioritize once you get rid of tasks you don’t need to do. It also means you need to know where your time is going and pay attention to time you waste. For example, do you watch TV or read for pleasure? You might cease to do those things in the short run so you have time to build your side-income.
4) Develop a schedule. Waiting for pockets of time or the “best” time (i.e. kids are bigger, economy is better, etc) is the best way to insure you never work-at-home. The opportune time to get started on your goal is now. If time is short and you’re life is busy, get rid of non-essential activities (#2), prioritize (#3) and schedule your goal into your day. If you don’t make time for your work-at-home tasks, they won’t get done.
5) Have a to-do list. Especially if your time is short, you need a to-do list so you know exactly what needs to be done when you have scheduled the time to do it.
6) Evaluate and adjust. Nothing ever goes as planned. The faster you can evaluate your results and make necessary adjustments, the better you’ll use your time and faster you’ll be able to quit your job.