Whether you still have a day job and you’re burning the midnight oil with your online business or you already run an online business full-time, working from home can get pretty tricky. It can be tough to separate “work” from “home,” and distractions are really easy to come by—especially when the fridge and the TV are a just few steps away from your desk.
Even so, working from home and running your own online business is a goal of many people out there reading my blog, and I think that the following 8 tips will come in handy along the way.
1. Create an office space. If you’re honestly going to work from home and earn money in the process, you need an office space. It doesn’t matter if you have a professional-looking den or your desk and computer are set up in the corner of your bedroom; dedicate a specific area in your house to your work and make it off-limits to family members. If you were pulling the old 9-to-5 routine, they wouldn’t hang out and eat Cheetos in your cubicle, would they? No.
2. Get organized. Once you’ve got an office space created, figure out the best way to organize the things you need for work. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s tough to feel professional when I’m surrounded by piles of junk and empty coffee cups.
3. Establish business hours … and stick to them! Regular business hours are a toughie for people that work at home because they are caring for their small children, but even if you work at home with kids you can still establish some type of business hours. Wake up an hour or two before your children to check emails, or always work while they take their afternoon nap. You don’t have to work from 9 to 5 each day (most likely that’s what you’re trying to avoid) but you’ll get more done if you work during specific times throughout the day.
4. Follow a routine. Following a routine goes along with establishing business hours. Most people find that they get more accomplished when they do things in a particular order. For example, check your email and listen to voicemails when you first sit down at your desk, then move on to the task at hand, always go through your snail mail after lunch, etc.
5. Avoid time-wasters that only happen if you work at home. If you run an online business from home, it’s really easy to stop what you’re working on to do some laundry or empty the dishwasher. That’s fine every now and then, but you wouldn’t whip out a basket of dirty clothes or start scrubbing dishes at the office. It can waste a lot of time while you’re supposed to be working.
6. Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family that you’re working. People tend to think that you’re always available if you work from home, but ultimately you’re responsible for putting an end to that. If you always answer the phone or respond to their text messages within a minute or two, your friends and family members will grow used to an immediate response. It’s okay to ignore them for a while and get back to them after work. If a true emergency has popped up, they will call back.
7. Don’t procrastinate. Putting things off because you don’t want to do them is incredibly easy when your office is in your house. Come to think of it, doing household chores or sending texts is a great form of procrastination. Avoid it at all costs! A project isn’t going to get any easier or suddenly become fun just because you do it at the last minute. More likely than not, it will cause you additional stress and seem even worse than you thought it was.
8. Appreciate your online business! Want to know one of the best tips for your success when you run an online business? Appreciate it! Some days you might get frustrated, but remember—the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. A lot of people would love to be in your shoes right now!