How To Work From Home, Successfully

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly,” — Langston Hughes

Freelancing, or any type of at-home business, sounds fantastic, in theory. But when it comes down to actualizing it, you’ll find there are times that theory and reality clash.

Working from home can be difficult. If you’re like me, there are, let’s call them…distractions. I have a newly adult son still at home, my in-laws are currently in residence, and I have two dogs who demand attention on a regular basis. There were days where I couldn’t go five minutes without someone or some thing interrupting my work flow.

This does not bode well for a good writing day.

If it’s not someone or something in the house, it’s my phone. I love my husband with all of my heart, but when he gets bored at work, I become his source of entertainment.

How do I deal with this? I’ve had to put my foot down, so to speak.

What happens, when you work from home, is people think you’re not actually working. They have this picture in their head of you lounging around, eating bon-bons like Peggy Bundy from Married With Children, watching soap operas all day, then rushing around before Al walks in the door to put dinner together; in an attempt to appear as if you’ve been busy all day.

So, I’ve had to implement a schedule. My husband gets up at 0600, so do I. While he’s getting ready for work, I make breakfast, pack his lunch, then we sit down and have breakfast together. We take this quiet morning time to talk about what needs to be done for the day (by both of us) and just spend a little quiet time together. No one else is up, so it’s really nice. He leaves around 0700. This is when I go to work. I boot up my computer and make my coffee.

Seriously, this is the best coffee on the planet, hands down.

But I digress.

My workday begins at 0700, and I have let everyone know this. At this point, I am unavailable, unless it is a true emergency. My son is responsible for the dogs and anything else in the rest of the house that needs attention. My work space is in my bedroom. I have a corner office, as in, the corner of my bedroom. I’ve set up a lovely desk, complete with my computer, pens, pencils, high-lighters, lamp, notebooks, books, and a very comfortable chair. I have everything I need right at my fingertips.

I take lunch from 1100–1200, the same time as my husband. We chat off and on during our lunch break, so if he needs anything or I do, we have an hour to talk about it.

During my work hours of 0700–1100, I have my phone on silent. No social media, no texting, no personal emails. I keep my business email up on my computer, medium, business twitter, my writing app, and my blog. This is crucial to me being productive. I’m not saying I’m a social butterfly by any stretch of the imagination, but I have sisters. And they are all SAHM’s or wives. So, I get random messages throughout the day. Distractions that I can’t afford because I am VERY easily distracted. I will go down the rabbit hole in about 1.2 seconds.

After lunch, I get back in the groove until 0400. At this point, it’s time to be domestic again. Phone sounds are back on, I’m available for chatting, I’m starting dinner, making sure my kid has not destroyed my house, or allowed the dogs to do so, etc.

During work hours, in order to be successful, and I’m not talking about money wise at this point, maintaining a schedule is key. Not allowing others to interrupt your schedule is important. Just because you’re working from home does not mean you aren’t working. Treat your business the same way you would a job outside your home. You wouldn’t allow distractions in your place of business outside your home, so do the same for your work at home.

In this day and age, more and more people are choosing to freelance or work from home for myriad reasons. It can be lucrative, but most of all, it can be a source of pride and freedom. Let it be for you whatever you need, but most of all, let it work for you and be successful.

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