Working from home – how do you make it work?

Working from home - how do you make it work?If you have recently crossed over – left your job to start your own business – and now you are working for home, be honest – how is it working for you, really?

Chances are you may still be enjoying the novelty of working in your pajamas until noon, sneaking a load of washing on when you should be calling clients, or even watching daytime TV! And whilst this can be fun for a while, it really won’t help you build your business, nor give you the chance to create clear boundaries between work and your personal life.

A common complaint for many Corporate Crossovers, especially when they work from home, is that they don’t know when their working day starts and then finishes. It seems that their day becomes an amorphous lump of busy activity. There is no time to recuperate before the next day begins and the cycle repeats itself.

If you are feeling frustrated that you are not working as effectively as you could at home, or that your day is a blur and you lurch from one task to the next, then try these simple steps to make working from home  a delight!

1.   Get Dressed for Work

I know this sounds obvious but really, when you get dressed in the morning and you have no meetings, are you really dressing for work or a slobby day around the house? How you prepare yourself when you get ready sets the intention in your mind for how you will be operating during the day.

Even if you are seeing no-one, get dressed as if you were. Feel presentable and work-ready and that is how you will behave during the day.

2.   Start work at the same time every day

When you used to work for someone else you had to turn up for a certain start tome each day. So why is it, that when you start working for yourself, you let your standards slip?

Start making boundaries between your personal and work life by choosing a time to “Start Work”

3.   Create a Start the Day Routine

When I used to work in an office, I would commute to work and buy a coffee in the coffee shop at the bottom of my building. Walking into my office, I would take off my coat. Sit down and start my coffee. I felt like my working day had started. Creating a routine for your day to start is also a way to signal that you are in work mode. It may be that once you are dressed and ready, you go for a walk around the block, and then as you put the key in the lock to open the door, you are in that mindset of starting the working day.

4.   When you are at work, work

Once you have your time chosen to “Start Work”, then work. Discipline yourself to focus. Don’t be tempted to put a load of washing on, or quickly do the vacuuming. If you were working in an office, you wouldn’t be doing this! I know from the experience of my clients, when they have the time to put the washing on, they are avoiding a task that scares them slightly. It may be calling a prospect, following up a sales call or chasing down a journalist. Start to respect your business by working during your working time.

5.   Create a finishing work time

In the same way that you create a Getting Started time, choose a time to end the day. And end the day. No sneaking back to check email after dinner or when the kids have gone to bed, but truly commit to making the end of the working day the end. In that way you can reclaim your personal time and feel as if you have boundaries between the two.

6.   Create a finishing work ritual

In the same way that you create a Getting Started routine to kick start your working day, develop one to end the day. I love to reflect back on my day and write down three things that have gone well for me, or three successes. I find that this helps me end the day feeling like I have achieved and that my business is moving forward. Create your own finishing work ritual to close the day so you feel good.

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