I have been working from home on and off for 7 years now. It has been an amazing journey of having the opportunity to do what I love. However; there are great myths and assumptions that go along with working from home. Many people assume that you will be able to take more vacation days, work less hours and make more money immediately. The amazing truth about working from home is that all of those assumptions are very possible but seldom actually happen. 8
Often you spend the majority of your day repeating, “I can do this”.
There is a huge level of doubt and inspiration that plays into working from home. You have no idea how you are going to do what you set out to do but you daily have to believe it is possible. When you work for a company you often have a supervisor that provides you with a list of things to do, a job descriptions and quotas that need to be fulfilled everyday. When you working from home you are the first and the last. The big truth about working from home is that distractions are more prevalent and doing what is necessary is a daily discipline.
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.- Francis of Assisi
It’s More Work Thank You Think
In our imaginary world of working from home we think you will work less. That is the biggest lie! You work more when you are home. You spend hours on hours in front of your computer, phone, or tablet working your business. The biggest thing to remember is that you must work your own business. You are the manager, salesforce, marketing team, writer, copyeditor, and janitor. There is no one else to blame when things don’t work out, when a client backs out or when the finances are short the next month.
You Get To Work In Your Pajamas
On a lighter note you get to work in your pajamas. I am extremely guilty of this one. I will get up have my morning quiet time with coffee in hand, eat breakfast and get dressed right back into clean house wear. I personally prefer to be comfortable while working. There are people who suggest getting fully dressed as-if you were heading to an office makes you more productive. I personally only get fully dressed when I have a meeting or head-out to a local coffeeshop to change my scenery. It truly does depend on what helps you stay focused.
If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Eat
We addressed a bit of this in the intro. When you work from home the pressure is on. There is no two week paycheck coming regardless of how you performed. If you don’t work, you don’t eat. As an entrepreneur you have to consistently discover new ways to monetize your business. Much of it is trial and error. What worked last season may not work this season.
Your Schedule is Insanely Flexible
This is a fluke! My schedule is not insanely flexible however; I can manage my schedule. The downside to managing your schedule is that flexibility often causes you to work while everyone else is sleep. Others often feel you are available when you are not. The flexibility of an entrepreneurs schedule is totally based on the work load, client meetings, project deadlines and life. You can manage your schedule but; it will not be a “free fall”. You will still be accountable for how you spend your hours and minutes.
You Rarely Take Breaks or Lunch
Here’s the truth! I rarely take breaks or eat lunch on time. I had a season where I would schedule my snacks and meals. Since I have turned off that function I have eaten poorly. As an entrepreneur who works out faithfully this is pretty terrible. If you were a person who ate at your desk and skipped your lunches and breaks you will probably skip them at home.
You Will Work Longer Hours Than When You Had A Normal Job
I work around the clock. It is something I’ve had to truly discipline myself with. After my quiet time in the morning I am in a zone! The biggest myth is that you will work shorter hours. You will check your accounts when you should be relaxing if you don’t set boundaries.
It’s Hard to Disconnect After Work Hours
Working from home requires setting serious boundaries. Recently, I took social media off of my phone. I am attempting to only check it on my iPad to see if it causes me to check my phone less throughout the day. Social Media is a huge rabbit trail that consumes valuable time. You will become its victim if you don’t discipline your life away from it. Download my free ebook, Get Productive to hear more about my journey and daily life hacks I’ve implemented that made me more productive.
Running Errands is Incredibly Flexible
Errands are a trap. Last year around this time I made a huge decision not to run errands after the gym unless it was the designated day that I set aside to run errands. It’s one thing to run errands and clean the house. It’s another thing to count how much time it actually takes. You don’t go to the grocery store without putting your groceries away! You have to include that time. In order to properly work from home you have to plan out everything.
Everything that I have had the privilege of learning about working from home has been trial and error. There are few books that will teach about the art of remote working. I love Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson book “Remote: Office Not Required”.
What are some challenges you are facing?