Working from home provides the freedom that schleppers-to-the-office only dream about. It also presents some common challenges. Thankfully, these are easy to remedy – as long as you are committed to fixing them.
Ah, the television in the corner of the room. Although the screen is dark it still beckons us. That show I didn’t finish watching last night? Gee, there’s only about 30 minutes left to watch, maybe I’ll just take a short break and finish watching it.
Sound familiar? Our homes are full of productivity roadblocks, from Netflix to a sink full of dirty dishes. Sometimes it’s easy to resist the temptations and distractions, sometimes it isn’t.
The key to overcoming the temptation is to regard your home, at least during the work day, just as you did your office when you worked in the outside world. Just as you’d never fold a load of laundry at the office, you shouldn’t even consider it during working hours at home.
Sometimes carving out a dedicated office space in the home helps remind you that you’re working, and keeps distractions at bay. Even if it’s just a small corner where you’re facing a wall, if it helps you to remain focused, it has done its job.
I find it interesting that when I worked outside the home nobody once called me and asked me to run an errand for them. As soon as folks find out you work from home, however, it’s open season on your time.
While it’s easy to give in to these demands, you’ll need to protect your boundaries. Ask yourself: just how long will it take you to pick up your sister’s child from school? What is that time worth financially? When you monetize your time you’ll understand just how valuable it is.
Your job in real estate, even if performed from home, is just as real as those of friends and family who work traditional jobs in brick and mortar environments. A polite “I’m working” should be the answer to anyone that doesn’t respect that.
Do you ever catch yourself working through the time when you used to be relaxing in front of the TV or playing with your children? It’s easy to do when you work from home. The lack of separation between home and work makes it all too easy to overwork.
Realize that there will always be more work to do. Just as you did when you worked outside the home, stop working at 5:00 or whatever time you’ve deemed your work day should end. Close the laptop, turn out the lights in your “office” and walk away.
You aren’t doing yourself or your clients any favors by constantly working and not finding relief from the stress.