Self Employed & Working From Home
Seven Secrets Staying Organized and Accomplishing Your Goals
One of the greatest things you can do for your life, and your financial future, is make a decision to stop suiting up and showing up for someone else’s dream (you know, that 9 to 5?) and start showing up for your own entrepreneurial endeavors.
Part of starting your own business and pursuing your dreams often entails giving up those beneficial boundaries that come from being an employee.
The pros and cons are numerous, but the pros far outweigh the cons in my experience. Yeah, you may find yourself working on holidays just as I did this last Labor Day, and you may even find yourself putting in far more hours than the 40 you did in corporate; nevertheless, the freedom and the rewards simply cannot be measured in comparison.
Owning your own time, your own direction, and your own will means flexibility, autonomy and endless possibility. Nonetheless, if you are not focused, organized and self-motivated, you will not succeed.
Those traits don’t come naturally to you? Who says?
You are what you define yourself to be. Make a decision to be organized. Make a decision to be focused. Make a decision to suit up and show up for yourself.
Here are a few tips for staying organized and creating success in your own home office.
1. Create a space in your home, at a nearby café, in your garage or in a shared office space environment. You can deduct the expenses when you file your taxes and sitting down to work in a specified space every day will help you keep to the psychological mindset of business.
2. Have specific work hours. Doing so will help you set boundaries with clients and associates, keep your head in the game, and force you to take care of yourself by taking breaks and walking away from work when you’re scheduled to do so. It’s very easy to get pulled into working 7 days a week, 10 or 14 hours a day when running your own business. For your own mental health, make sure you set boundaries.
3. Get dressed for work each day. I always see cartoons about freelancers looking up at 5pm, unshaven and still in their PJs. While Pajamas and sweats might be extremely comfortable, they also make you subliminally sleepy. Getting dressed in the morning, having a good breakfast and “going” to your workspace will put you in the mindset for productivity. Personal time and work time will feel more defined when you are actually dressed for work.
4. Have separate computers for work and for personal use. Again, mindset is a good reason (for example, Facebook won’t be RIGHT THERE every time you open your Chrome browser), but in addition to that, you will be much more able to keep your business correspondence and documents organized when your work computer is only for business.
5. Occasionally get out of the “office” and work from a different location. Have a big project to work on that really requires full concentration with no interruptions? Rent a hotel room for a day. Join an office-share community or head for a local café or coffee house. When you work from home, it can be really easy to isolate in your work cave and not get out of the house for days at a time; especially if you are single.
6. Seek training, learning, and networking opportunities within your community and online. When you have a class to attend or a group meet up, you not only get a chance to get out of the house and interact with others, you have the opportunity to make new acquaintances that could help grow your success through education, mentorship, mutual encouragement or new business opportunities. Network electronically. At a minimum you should have a LinkedIn account and become actively involved with groups in your industry.
7. Have a dedicated phone number for work. Some phones and phone companies will allow you to have just one phone, or line, with two numbers that ring differently. Turn it off when outside of work hours. This will help you to always come across professionally when you answer the phone, as well.