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Working from Home - Some Pitfalls and Solutions

03/25/2009 16:36

Many of our customers work from home and have created successful businesses this way. Working from home has some obvious benefits; choosing your own hours (most of the time), being your own boss (although you probably end up with a hard boss this way), having more control. However, there are a lot of unique struggles one faces when working at home.

Blending Work and Home Life Being in a familiar place to do a foreign thing can be challenging. Blurring the home and work boundaries can make working successfully very difficult. Family conflict is one of the more common problems when someone first begins to work from home. It is confusing for children, and other family members might not be sympathetic. You may feel like you are constantly interrupted, or just having people around can make it very hard to focus or think clearly. There are a number of tricks you can employ to set the expectations among family members and keep your mind focused on work.

Maintain a Work-Only Space Make a part of your home as a work-only space. If possible, keep it removed from the rest of your house. This will help eliminate distractions. Keep the television off! Remove yourself so that your family and friends know that you're not to be interrupted, and so you can focus entirely on your work. Keep clutter out of your room, books, magazines, anything that can distract you. Try to maintain this part of your house the same way you would your home office. 

Maintain a List of Goals One of the best time management tools that I know about is to make a to-do list of what needs to be accomplished during your workday. This will focus you on what is most important to do each day; you will know when you’ve accomplished what you really need to do; and you will get a stronger sense of accomplishment each day. If you are not goal-oriented, it can be difficult to remain focused. A lack of focus can lead to wanting distractions rather than trying to avoid them -- and distractions are easy to find, especially when you work from home.

Create a Healthy Environment Many people who work from home complain about feelings of isolation, or a negative reaction from peers or co-workers. They may not take what you do seriously. Maybe you have good ways to deal with this. If you don't, then I guess you just need to get used to it now. Just knowing that it is a normal thing; and not something that's wrong with you; can keep this from being a really big problem. Working from a dark basement is an unnatural workplace. People need natural light. Your office shouldn't be too cramped or dark. If you work from a laptop, maybe take your laptop to a coffee shop or park and work from there. Play some music that helps you focus. Whether you have a store in your home, have your own African web site, or do a portion of your work from home, keeping these tips in mind will help you enjoy your work-from-home experience much more. Find many more free business articles on the Africa Imports web site. Just Click Here.