I’ve been asked this question a lot, “how are you able to work from home?” And I always assume the person means how am I able to focus on my work with so many distractions like the TV, refrigerator, or the desire to lie down and take an afternoon nap? And, I admit that when I first started out working for myself, I had struggles. But, one thing happened to me that changed me forever. It was when I goofed off for a few weeks and I didn’t make enough money to pay some needed bills. I quickly got my wake up call.
Working from home is really much like developing an acquired taste for something, for me…cilantro, but that’s another story. I enjoyed so much being at home, getting up when I wanted, going to bed when I wanted, in charge of my own schedule, I could work any hours I want, and I didn’t have to fight traffic going to a job nor struggle with my wardrobe and makeup every morning! However, with great miracles comes great responsibilities (Luke 12:48). Yes, I have all that freedom, but at the same time I have to hold myself accountable or else I would quickly lose the privilege of working from home.
If you’re wondering if self-employment is for you, I wish I could answer that for you but honestly I can’t. You are the best person to know that. What are your habits? Do you enjoy being around others? Do you look forward to getting up and going to a job? Would you be disciplined enough to treat a work from home job the same as a 9 to 5 job? Only you know the answers. I had to ask myself these same questions when I started out.
For my personality, working from home was a God-send. I’m typically a loner by nature so working by myself is exciting. I’m a natural introvert and I draw my creativity from within so it’s hard for me to focus on creating when I’m in around others in a busy office. I also LOVE the nighttime, it’s quiet enough for me to think and do a lot of my writing and designing.
With everything, there is a downside and when you’re considering working from home, I recommend that you do your homework and research. Some soul searching too will help. This way you don’t jump in blindly and unprepared. Here’s a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Have a room designated for work and do not let it spill into other areas of your house. I had a small apartment when I started, but it had a den. I turned that into my office and I refused to bring any work into the other rooms. Work has to remain separate from home.
- Stop working at a certain time each day. Now, sometimes that can’t be helped, but for the most part try to keep your working hours consistent so that you don’t stay in your home office all day and night. I try very hard not to let my work get in the way of quality time with my hubby and friends.
- Keep in mind that if you don’t work, you don’t eat. I’m only referring to self-employment. If you have a job but just work from a home office, then your situation will be different. However, if everything rides on you to bring in the work, then you have to be disciplined to put in the time and effort it takes to get regular clientele.
- Self-employment also means handling your yearly taxes. I’m no expert in this area, but I do recommend you hire a tax accountant to help you.
- Stay organized. Essential so that when you go into your office, you know what’s on your agenda. I keep an open planner on my desk with calendar + a to-do list and all my projects are kept in a binder and for my crafting projects, each one is in a clear polybag so that I know exactly what’s in it when I go to work on it. I clear my desk off every night before I go to bed. I can’t work well in an untidy area.
My last piece of advice if you’re seriously considering working from home, is to design your space to your liking. Invest in good office furniture. A good chair with back support and a computer table that is at the right height for you to be able to relax your arms. You need to feel comfortable and excited when you come into your home office. And if you have to take everything out and re-paint the walls, do it! You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this room so it’s important that you don’t dread being there. I just recently gave my office space a complete makeover, and I love it! I’m still making tweaks here and there, but I knew I needed a change.
To wrap up this post, not every job is for everyone. Working from home brings with it great benefits, but can also have challenges and some people have even told me they can’t do it. I respect that. It doesn’t work for everybody and for me a 9 to 5 job doesn’t work.
I hope I’ve given you some good advice and sharing tips, but if you have additional questions feel free to contact me! Thanks for reading!