You don't know how many times I've heard myself repeatedly tell people that freelancing is not easy.
When I tell people I am a Virtual Assistant, they automatically think I just work all day in my PJs (some days this is true... lol) however, that's not the point. Freelancing takes discipline... a lot of it! And you wear all of the hats. You are the boss, the secretary, the receptionist, the tech department, the HR department AND customer service.
You are also your own cheerleader. Your friends and family are definitely the best support group, however, you still need to motivate yourself to keep pushing.
Check out this truly inspirational story
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There's an ongoing debate with people who work from home; whether it helps your productivity to get up in the morning, shower, and get dressed as if you are going to the office.
Now, honestly, I don't think anyone who works from home, really believes that you should put on a three-piece suit and a tie, but the basic idea is, is it ok to just get up, skip the shower, and work in your sweats? I must admit, for a while, my version of dressing up for the office, were my sweats, and I wore sweats pretty much every day, nonstop. I could wear the same pair going for two to three days at a time. Yes, I know I might be an extreme case, but it worked for me. I still got up, made coffee, showered and got dressed as if I was going out. Even though it wasn't formal business attire, I felt it was decent enough clothing that I wouldn't be embarrassed to answer the door in. And surprisingly enough, it did help with my productivity. It kind of put me in the right mindset of... Okay, I'm up for the day. I'm dressed and ready to go.
And even though the place where I was ready to go to, was my home office, Psychologically, I still felt like it created a shift for me. But I will say that if that doesn't work for you, that is perfectly fine. Because the other side of the argument is; people feel because you work from a home office, one of the perks is you don't have to get dressed-up or do your hair and makeup (or shave, for the men). And yes, I agree, that is one of the biggest perks, not having to wear makeup all day and can just sit down and work, whenever or wherever you want to with or without structure.
So do what works for you. The important part is that you remain productive. And if you're still trying to figure it out, it's something to think about.
So, you've decided to take that leap of faith and start working from home but your home isn't the most productive working environment.
One thing that I've found that really helps, is to keep your workspace organized, clean, and tidy. Which, to be honest, isn't one of my strong points. If I 'm able to master this, then so can you. It really helps, as far as productivity goes, to have a place for everything. You can find some great home office storage ideas on Pinterest. Once you get in the habit of knowing where everything is and keeping your workspace kind of clean, you'll really get a lot of work done.
I found that your environment can have a pretty significant effect, on how productive you are. Now, I know not everyone will agree with me because there are people who can work just fine, in a pigsty, and I'm impressed with them, but for the most part, your work is going to reflect the environment that you're in.
If you're in a disorganized, messy environment, that can end up being reflected in your work, at least in my opinion, so I would suggest, keeping your workspace clean, simple, and organized.
Trying to homeschool and run your home-based business can be challenging. There is nothing more distracting while trying to work than a bored child.
Though I do not recommend letting the television set babysit your children, I will recommend streaming something on Netflix or allow some iPad time for a little while so that your children can have something to focus their energy and attention on while you complete your projects.
If your children like to be active and you have a yard for
them to play in, weather permitting, of course, that's the perfect time to let them go outside to play the ball, hula hoop or whatever toy that will keep them busy. There is always good old fashioned hide and seek or jump rope.
If they need to stay indoors, I found this terrific site that has put together a giant list of indoor activities for kids and she even took the time to break it down by age (toddlers, preschoolers and ages 5 and up).
Just make sure that you have a set time limit for each activity, so you'll know how much time they will be distracted having fun while you're getting your work done.
Imagine you roll out of bed, make some coffee in your PJs and plop down with your computer. 30 hours a week for $70,000 a year sounds great right? Not always. If you've been on the hunt for a new job recently you know there's nothing worse than getting excited over a potential gig only to find out it's a scam.
Even worse, you could be putting your identity on the line by giving out important personal information. If you're looking for a new job, here are 4 signs that a great opportunity is probably a scam.
Sign #1: Big bucks for small tasks.
If they're offering six figures and all you have to do is stuff envelopes it's probably a scam.
Sign #2: Job offers from strangers.
Did you get a random job offer without having to fill out an application? Probably a scam.
Sign #3: Asking you to wire money or send them prepaid debit cards. Never pay money to secure employment and never send money to someone you don't know. It's probably a scam.
Sign #4: If the only way you can reach them is by email or text message. Scam artists are shy so if you can't get your potential employer on the phone, you guessed it, it's probably a scam.
You get the idea. And remember the golden rule, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Do you think you're ready to work from home? I'm going to talk about one of the big enemies of working from a home office and that is procrastination.
That is the tendency for us to think, "Well, I've got a little more flexibility with my hours and so I'm going to put this off." And what I found, is that there are some days where I just can't wait to get to work. I'm working on a project that I'm excited about, I sit down and I go, I get in my flow, and things just really get done. And there are other days where I come to my office and I'm looking for excuses to not have to work.
So I'll check my e-mail, or I'll just tell myself I'm going to take a quick look at CNN, see what's going on in the world today. And you'll do these time wasters and two hours later you realize you could have been done with your main project for the day.
When you're working from a home office, it's a really a good idea to cultivate a habit of just starting to work first thing no matter what, even if you absolutely hate the project that you're about to embark on, just get started. Because once you get started, for the most part, you realize, okay, this isn't as bad, I thought it was going to be. Things start to happen sometimes.
For myself, I usually find out that I actually end up enjoying what I'm doing, and enjoying my work once I get started. So, if you're feeling like you just don't want to work that day, just go and work anyway, get started, do something. The thing is if you take 20 days where you just aren't productive, it just ends up stacking more work on you by the end of your week, and then before you know it, you end up having to work a weekend or work when you should be sitting down with your family or friends.
So, just nurture that habit, and you'll be one step closer to your dream.