There’s no denying that working from home offers many advantages. In many ways it’s the ultimate freedom.  You get to set your own hours, working when, where and how you want. However, there are also a number of potential pitfalls you need to be aware of, and watch out for, or you’ll risk turning your home-based job into an unproductive nightmare.

Setting Work Life Balance

This is one of the most common issues for people who work from home, especially those who are self-employed.  When the home office is “right there”, it can be hard to stay away even if you should really be off work for the day. Before you know it, you’ll have spent another few hours of your precious weekend on work. This is the fast track to burning out, and something you must learn to avoid if you want to be successful working from home.

Lack of self-discipline

Self-discipline is a must-have skill in the office or especially, when working from home.  If you don’t have it, then set out to develop it.   Without this skill set, you will have continuous issues getting your work done on time.  If your an entrepreneur and you’re running your own business, planning is an absolute must. If the first thing you ask yourself when you start your day is “Ok, what am I going to do today?”, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s much better to plan out the next day before you go off work in the evening, so you’re ready to get started first thing in the morning.   Get into a routine of creating a to-do-list the end of each day.   Granted, when the next day comes, there will inevitably be interruptions, but at least you can get refocused and finish tasks within time limits.

Creating Daily Routine

This becomes a real issue when you first start out as your own boss.   When you’re free to set your own hours, it doesn’t mean that you should only work “whenever you feel like it”. Chances are after a few months that you’ll rarely feel like it at all, especially when there are so many fun distractions around the house. That’s why it’s better to try to stick to working the same hours every day, even if it might resemble a “real job” a bit too much for your liking. You can always take breaks during the day if you need to recharge, but try to at least go into your office around the same time if you want productivity levels to stay high.  Again, your brain likes a routine, you can focus more, get more done and feel like you have actually accomplished things in your day.

Time to Re-energize

When you work from home there is usually very little motivation to go outside or if you are working on a deadline, you may end up staying in the house most of the week.  You’ve got everything you need at home anyway, right? That’s true, but after a whole week of continuous work, you could feel isolated and lonely, and that’s perfectly normal.  That’s why it’s so important to make time for little things like grabbing lunch with a friend – something as simple as that can really boost your energy and make your working week easier and less lonely.  Taking a walk in the park, enjoy nature.  Change of scenery can do your mental state lots of good.   Something else to consider, some form of exercise is not only good for you physically but it can lessen your stress levels and help you re-energize.

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