While working from home can sound like a dream to most, it also comes with some challenges. It’s definitely a transition if you’re used to working in an office, and I want to share some things I’ve found helpful during my time building a business from home.
Tip One: Make Time for Others
I’ll be the first to tell you… working from home can get a bit lonely. Especially if your kids are in school full-time and your spouse works out of the house full-time. As a virtual assistant, all of my interactions with others are, well, VIRTUAL! There are certainly times when I miss being surrounded by others during the workday, but working from home has allowed me so much freedom.… Click To TweetAll it takes is some extra effort. Effort to plan a lunch or coffee break with a friend. Effort to eat dinner with your family every night. Effort to maybe go work from Starbucks every once in a while. Whatever your specific way of feeling “surrounded” is, make it a priority! It can be easy to seclude yourself from others when you’re feeling a bit lonely, but making time for others and getting out of the house on a little break is key!
Tip Two: Establish a Schedule
Just like when you get up and get ready to go to the office, try and designate a start time each day. For some, this may mean rolling out of your bed and trucking to the home office. For others, it may mean taking a shower, getting ready, and then moving to the couch. If you enjoy your daily coffee alone in the kitchen when you worked out of the house, continue that routine! Plan to work the normal business hours, and maybe a little extra if needed. I personally make an effort to get up and work out each morning. While this doesn’t always happen (and sometimes life gets in the way), this allows me to set aside the time for it and start my day fresh.
If there are kids involved, like me, you know you sometimes have to plan your schedule around them. For example, I block off an hour in the morning just to get them off to school. I work until the afternoon and that’s when the school pick up and activity shuttle bus begins! When I first started my business, I was working a lot of nights and weekends to gain traction. Now, I focus on business hours and prioritize those times. Of course, there are times when you go beyond the normal 9-5. It’s all part of building up your empire!
Tip Three: Invest in Good Equipment
Your home isn’t your old office… you don’t have to settle for bad chairs or slow computers! Depending on what your business or job is, invest in the materials and equipment to help you perform your best. For me, that means a good headset and a good laptop. This can also mean notebooks, planners, calendars, whatever! If you find yourself sitting at a desk all day, make sure your chair supports your back! Take the time to make a space you feel comfortable in.
Tip Four: Limit Distractions
This may seem kind of obvious, but as tempting as it is to work in front of the TV, try to avoid it. Distracting yourself with shows you haven’t watched yet or scrolling social media on your phone can be a distraction even if you do work out of the house. Try to limit the distractions around you so that you can focus on what you do best!
Tip Five: Take Little Breaks
Working from home, surrounded by sometimes unfinished to-do lists, can make you aware of many little projects you need to finish or things you need to pick up. Take small breaks to do these if you need a creative break or if you need to get your mind off work for a minute so you can refocus afterwards. Do the dishes, vacuum your living room, take the dog for a walk, whatever it is. Just a 10-15 minute break can help you reset and then continue with what you were doing before!
About the Author
Michelle is a mother of 4 who manages her virtual assistant business from her home office. She has been doing this for the past 10 years and loves working behind the scenes so others can focus on their passion. She offers a range of services to her clients and treats each client’s business as if it were her own.
You can find her online at: Michelleparrino.com