If you are like me, then you love working from home and do the balancing act every day to meet your deadlines.
Sometimes it makes you go crazy.
Though it’s something I would not give up for anything else in the world, working from home does have its challenges.
You cannot jump into this thinking, it’s an easy task.
It is not.
When I first started working from home, it seemed very exciting and very convenient.
By the end of the first month, I realized that if I don’t keep things in order or organize my time, it will be hard for me to stick with the projects and deliver results on time.
I was so bad with my time management that I almost lost my job.
For me and maybe for most of you the biggest challenges are
- Time Management
- Work Life Balance
All of these are very simple things which might not affect you much if you are at a workplace. But they mean a lot and believe me, a person working from home can relate to these.
I could eventually get better with all these issues and make most of the work from home experience as it should be – Truly Happy.
So let’s see what worked for me and how you can tackle these challenges.
Distractions, What Distractions?
Ok, you started working from home just recently and have no idea what can be distracting.
Well, distractions can be anything from family around you to your phone ringing.
I would define it as something which diverts your mind from your work, and you cannot concentrate. I am not a person who gets distracted soon, but they did get to me early on.
What worked for me was having a dedicated work space which would limit the outside world distractions.
I know that some might not be able to do this, but blocking the outside world does help, which would take some time for the starters to develop as a skill.
When you love what you are doing, you just get engrossed and absorbed in it so much that any distractions don’t deter you from doing what you do.
I think managing your time whether it is at work or home, is an art.
It is hard to master this skill, but if you do, then you would be surprised at what you can achieve.
It is easy to be pulled into some home chores or become lazy and procrastinate the work.
All that would eventually show on your job. As I said earlier, I was awful with my time but had to learn soon because I didn’t want to lose the opportunity of working from home.
The tip that made me good at my time management was having a log or a diary of a to-do list. It would list the work that I had to finish that day.
I would even sit up until 2 a.m sometimes to complete my day’s work. I never felt overworked working so late. Instead, it felt so good as I could accomplish my goals for that day.
The key point here is to be accountable. We work better when we are accountable to somebody or our set deadlines.
Work Life Balance
You need to drop your kid to the school and have to attend a webinar or meeting online, both at the same time.
I know the feeling.
The biggest plus of working from home is the work life balance. You get to be around your family, spend both the small and big moments with them and still be able to work.
Well, if you were working in an office, you would be missing some of them.
This plus can be challenging sometimes, like work priorities and family might fall around the same time, and you would have to choose.
And because you are around the family, the emotional part also adds in.
I had a hard time with this but later I worked my work routine around my family engagements. I always work most when the kids go to sleep, or before they wake up.
During the day, I mostly do minimal work. This arrangement works for me best as it’s quieter when the kids are sleeping and I can get more productive.
Maybe this is the biggest reason people have doubts working from home.
Motivation is something you need to do any job. If you are not motivated, whatever you do will not give good results.
Working from home can be good for lots of things, but can fall short at motivating you to get to work.
In an office environment, colleagues, the workspace, your friends, the corporate setup or maybe just going out and working might motivate you.
But at home, you would need a lot of self-motivation.
It’s not impossible, but you need to train yourself to get motivated by yourself. You can master this skill slowly.
I know quite a good number of people who work from home and are highly motivated. Maybe the results from your job or a simple inspirational quote or an idea for your project might do the trick.
If you still have trouble getting motivated, read up on the big guys who work from home and make a killing. That surely is going to motivate you.
You might think you are committed to your work, what difference does the place of working make?
When working at an office, the commitment towards work is driven by many factors like the competitive performance, the pressure from the manager, etc.
But when working from home, none of those factors are present, and you might lose the interest to perform or deliver on time.
There are many ways to push yourself to feel more committed when working from home, but the biggest and the most important question should be
Do you love what you are doing?
If you do, then that just means you are committed, and will find a way to work religiously to meet the deadlines no matter how many distractions you have.
Apart from these, you have many tools to automate and organize your routine and make the whole remote work a breeze.
I had my share of difficulties to manage working from home but eventually all worked out. And, if you are starting out now, it will work out for you as well.
So, keep rocking!!!
What were your challenges with your job? Which one has more challenges, an outside job or working from home?