The Top 3 Challenges of Working from Home and How to Overcome Them
So you’ve finally taken the leap and are now ready to dedicate most of your time working from home. You’re no longer accountable to a boss (because you are one now) and you have full command over your time. It feels liberating to work on your own terms, finally.
While working from home promises freedom and flexibility that you don’t get to enjoy while being a corporate slave, there are some challenges you need to overcome to become a successful home-based entrepreneur.
Working from home presents a lot of distractions: your mobile phone, television, noisy neighbors, the inviting bed and perhaps kids who constantly look for mommy for nothing. You don’t have a boss looming over you, but you’re also tempted to watch just one more episode of your favorite show on Netflix. And before you know it, that one episode stretched to four, and you’ve lost precious time on the TV screen, not your computer screen.
The best way to overcome this is to allocate an area of your home where you can work without distractions. You can turn a spare room or even a small nook into a workstation. Ideally, this area is away from your primary distractions – like your bed and TV. And it’s also best to equip this space with things that can help you be more productive, like a vision board, bulletin board, comfortable chair and excellent ventilation.
2. Time Management
Now that you have a lot of time on your hands, your tasks could soon get overwhelming. In between household chores and business affairs, you could end up accomplishing less than you expected to and end up being unproductive.
It is understandable that you have a lot of hats to wear, but you can make the most of your time by channeling your focus on the things that matter the most. Consider making a to-do list the night before of the things you need to do the next day. It also helps to write this list too on your bulletin board, so it’s easier to see. When you get distracted, a quick look at the list will get you back on track.
What if you have to do so many things in a day? Make a list of your tasks according to priority: urgent, can wait and nice to accomplish. If you need to send a proposal or create a presentation in three hours, the laundry can wait. If you need to attend your daughter’s PTA, perhaps you can run the other errands some other time. Focus on the things that are most important to you and tackle them one by one.
Now that you’re working independently and away from physical workmates, you could soon feel isolated. You might miss the physical interaction in your previous corporate work, feel lonely and might even begin to doubt this decision. Isolation is a feeling not so foreign for work at home individuals, but it still gets to them.
You don’t have to wallow in loneliness over you solo work set-up. The good thing about being a home-based entrepreneur is that you can take your work elsewhere -- at a coffee shop, a co-working space or your friend’s place so you can enjoy their companion and change in scenery. You can even schedule once-a-week brunch with your girlfriends or play sports with your family. A nice afternoon picnic is perhaps the thing you need to get out of the rut.
Working from home is an excellent set-up in attaining your own personal and career goals. You get to devote more to your business as well as gain more time for your family. But this lifestyle is not always perfect. When you come across these challenges, just look back at your reason and purpose why you work at home, take a break and get back at it with renewed vitality.