The Secret to Working From Home
I gave up full-time employment at the age of 40. I was well paid and in a career in which I was confident. I gave all this up because I had a burning desire to work for myself. Some of my colleagues and friends saw this as a crazy decision. Giving up a well-paid and secure job is never easy.
However, my desire to get out of the rat-race and shape my own future was too great and so I took the chance.
I had many doubts of course. Would I succeed? Would I run out of money before the business got off the ground? But my biggest worry was that I would be working alone from home. Would I be motivated?
That was over 5 years ago now and I am pleased to report that I did stay motivated, I have been successful and I haven't run out of money.
When I started, I made a rule which I still feel helped me. The rule was that the TV would not be switched on until after 6pm. I made this a strict rule to myself and I must say that even today, it is rare that the telly goes on much before 8pm.
To some of you, this will not sound that important. But the truth is that I am a terrible TV addict. Had I not made this rule I may have been tempted to watch breakfast TV and if I was especially lazy, I might have gone on to watch Jeremy Kyle and the like.
Commute to Your Living Room
I think what this rule did for me was to distinguish office-time and home-time as these two are so easily mixed up when one works from home. When you commute to your place of work there is a very clear demarcation line between home life and work life. So I essentially "commuted" to my living room in the morning and in the evening I commuted to the sofa and fed my addiction to TV.
I have no family so other interruptions are not so much of a problem for me as they are for others. However, I do have to be firm with family and friends who want to drop by and make it clear that during the day this is my place of work. I do not want to be a misery guts though so I make it equally clear that company is very welcome in the evenings and at weekends!
Don't Go Stir Crazy
Like most self-employed people I work very long hours. As I do so alone, there is a risk to become a little crazy. So make sure that you take time out to leave your home during the day. Even if it is for a trip to the sandwich shop at lunchtime. Human contact is so important and it is all so easy to forget this when you are cocooned in your home office.
So build your routines, set your boundaries, keep to your self-imposed rules, ensure human contact and make sure you have a social life. All these can make you happy and efficient whilst working from home.
Wed 23 February 2011 16:43:30