April 26, 2012, 6:00 am

How to Actually Work From Home

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income
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How can you actually work from home?

No don’t run away just yet. This isn’t another piece on how to make money online or how to work from home. This piece is all about actually working from home. This article is for those of you that are already making money online and just want to improve the process.

I always thought that working from home was the coolest thing in the world. Now that I’ve increased my online income through freelancing and running my own blog, I find myself “working from home” most of the time. It’s still pretty cool, but it can get pretty interesting at times. It’s really easy to get lost and create the worst schedule in the world if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.

What are some practical tips to help you actually work from home based on my experiences?

Leave home if you have to.

The first tip might seem a bit counter-productive, but it’s actually the most helpful. If you’re not productive at home then don’t work from home. Get out of the house and go somewhere else. Go to the coffee shop, library, park, or any other random spot. Find a place that you feel comfortable and can focus. Once you find that spot you’ll want to go there all of the time.

Set boundaries.

What time will you work? Where will you work? Will you respond to emails during dinner? Will you bring your laptop over to your buddies place?

Where am I going with these questions? You need to set boundaries early on. If you create any boundaries, then your work can take over your whole life. Trust me, I’ve had many friends and girlfriends get mad at me because I didn’t set limits and would work when I shouldn’t. Once you set boundaries you’ll seen your quality of work improve because you won’t be cooking pasta while finishing blog posts.

Work with your body.

You need to work with your body when it comes to energy and time management. Maybe the reason that you hated a 9-5 gig is because your body just doesn’t function well during the day. Speaking from experience, I get my best work done in the middle of the night. I don’t lie to myself. I base my life around my energy and my focus.

If you want to work from home you have to work with your body. It’s going to take a few weeks for you to figure out how to work with your body. This also entails determining the following about your body:

  • When you’re the most focused.
  • What food fuels you the best.
  • The best time to train.
  • When you’re the most creative.

When you work with your body, you’ll be able to get the best results.

Wing it only when you have to.

When you first get started with working from home, you’re going to follow the typical pattern. You start off by thinking that you have all of the time in the world. You realize that you forgot to do the laundry. You then hit the gym. Then you meet a buddy for lunch. Then you stop by at the mall. Then you suddenly realize that it’s night time and you haven’t done anything. Just like in college, your deadline is approaching. You stay up all night. You get to bed at five in the morning. You wake up after noon. This pattern continues. You got your work done, but you had to wing it.

While I don’t advise winging it, the reality is that it’s going to happen once in a while. All I’m saying is that you try to limit this problem unless you absolutely have to. The worst habit that you can create through working at home is attempting to wing it every single day.

That’s how you can actually be productive from home. I hope that this article helps you work better from home. This is based on my own experiences and nothing else.

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I think I’m pretty productive at home, but I had to stop working there. It was so lonely. I hate it. Now, I may not be the biggest fan of people in general, but I need their presence.

As I write this comment, I’m at a local coffee shop. There was an influx of screaming babies in here earlier this morning, but things have calmed down and I can really focus now. I like it here. The internet connection is faster than the one at the library and there’s food and stuff. That could also be a negative. I’m going to meet up with a friend for happy hour later this evening, and then I’ll finish up my workday at the library since it’s nearby. Even though I’ve struggled with finding my groove since I quit my job, I don’t wanna go back.

[…] 1. How to Actually Work From Home @ TFB. […]

I agree with working with your body. The main reason I hate the daily job is simply because of the hours. I am an early morning person so from 5-10am is when I am the most productive. Well my hours don’t start til 9 at work and by that time Im almost shot. Already being up for my most productive hours. If I worked from home my hours would be 5-12 or something of the like.

I work at home for my regular job on Thursday and Friday each week. I have learned that I can’t have the tv on or I can’t concentrate. I would never be able to work in a coffee shop or outside…I would get to distracted. I do have to have music on though, I don’t like the quite.