Making the change from on-site work to online work can be a challenge but it’s necessary if you’re starting your own home-based business, telecommuting, or freelancing. Make these big changes easier by preparing yourself and planning ahead. To help you get started, here are five tips to make the transition a little easier:
Claim your workspace.
Being able to shut a door on the rest of the household not only lets them know that you’re hard at work, but it also signals that you are taking over that space. The action of shutting yourself in is also your cue that it’s time to sit down, concentrate, and leave distractions outside.
Be clear about boundaries.
I can’t stress this enough. Many people who are unfamiliar with the concept of working from home can sometimes forget that you are actually trying to get work done. Friends and family can sometimes make the assumption that you will be available to them whenever they want you to be. Be very clear with them that when you’re working, you are unavailable, and consider turning your phone off or letting calls go to voicemail.
Remove nearby temptations.
Shutting yourself away from the rest of the house can be very helpful but study the room that you’re in. An office with a television, a big comfy chair, or a video game console can be a danger zone. Also, consider getting a babysitter or asking friends to take the kids out for a few hours.
Map your day.
Unless you have set hours for your online work, it’s very easy to put tasks off until later or start non-work tasks. To avoid getting behind in your work, write down a schedule for your day and stick to it.
Always make a list.
Having a to-do list means that you know exactly where you left off the day before and you can seamlessly jump back into things. If you choose to become a virtual assistant, having a to do list is a lifeline to your business. It doesn’t matter if the list is on paper, digital, in Evernote, or some other project management software.. just make sure you have one!
For some people, working from home can mean freedom and more control over their lives. If it’s mismanaged, however, it can become a waste of time and a drain on resources. Plan ahead and set yourself up properly to help ensure your success.