By Karin Beery
Who doesn’t love the idea of working from home? Setting your own hours, no uniform or dress code, no rush hour – the perks are endless, right? Sort of. You can definitely set your own rules, but just because something sounds good doesn’t mean it’s going to help you run a productive (i.e. profitable) at-home business. Here are nine ways people sabotage their businesses.
- Stay in your jammies. It’s tempting to wear your robe to work, but getting dressed puts you in a different mindset. It doesn’t have to be a suit (I’m a fan of leggings and sweaters), but make the transition so your brain knows it’s time to work.
- Skip meals. Just because the kitchen is fifteen feet away doesn’t mean you should wait to fuel up. Start the day with a full tank and top off as needed.
- Homemade, from-scratch meals every day. This will suck away hours of your week. Plan like you would for the office – big dinners and weekend meals, then enjoy leftovers at work.
- Work whenever – part 1. If you don’t set a schedule, you’ll always find something else to do. You don’t have to work 9-5, but plan when you’ll work and stick with it.
- Work whenever – part 2. It’s easy to take your work home when you work from home. Don’t let work time creep into family/social time. You’ll burn out.
- Answer every phone call. If your sister calls during work hours, ignore her. There’s plenty of time later.
- Answer every email/like/tweet. See #5. Same strategy applies.
- Follow every rabbit trail. Facebook, Twitter, and almost every other website sells ad space for a reason. Resist the urge to click – save that for your off-work hours.
- Multi-task. One or two business items at a time are fine, but don’t try to do a few loads of laundry while working on a client’s project. Save the dirty clothes and dishes for after hours.
Not all of these rules will apply to everyone (I know plenty of people who accomplish a lot in their pajamas), but run through this checklist if you find yourself struggling more often than succeeding. A few tweaks here and there will get you back on track for a successful at-home career.
Owner of Write Now Editing and Copywriting Services, Karin Beery specializes in fiction and professional business copy. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the American Christian Writers Association. A Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network member, she is the Substantive Editing for Fiction instructor for the PEN Institute. Karin is represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at Word Wise Media. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website, www.karinbeery.com.