Overcoming the Challenges of Working at Home

Many parents, as well as single non-parents, dream of working at home. The idea sounds wonderful, being able to set your own schedule, work in pajamas, hang out with your kids and spouse more. The reality can be a bit harsher, though.DistractionsFirst of all, there are far more distractions at home. If you want to work from home, keep in mind that your office at work is designed to be conducive to work and focus. Sitting at the kitchen table is not. You`ll see dishes that need to be done, kids will be begging for attention and the television beckons with morning talk shows.The Solution: Make an office. If you can`t have a room where you can shut the door, then set up a desk in the least distracting area of your home, perhaps in the bedroom or basement.KidsWhile they figure under distractions, kids deserve their very own special category. If you have preschoolers . . . working at home is going to be a real challenge. It`s going to take a while for kids to learn that when you sit down to work, you actually need to work, not play Barbies or read stories.The Solution: Work up to it. Get your kids used to you working by doing it for 30 min. at a time to begin with. Work while kids are at school or in bed or look at hiring a nanny or mother`s help.ChoresThe perfect procrastination is when you have a genuine excuse . . . “Junior needed me to launder his uniform before soccer practice”. Laundry, dishes and regular chores around the house tend to make the perfect excuse to step away from not so fun work.The Solution: Set a specific time to do all these chores and after that . . . no more.Friends and FamilyAs soon as people hear that you are working at home, it`s like a magnet. Suddenly, everyone is calling to see if you can do them a favor, run an errand, or prepare something for class . . . because, after all, you have nothing better to do!The Solution: Learn to say no. Let people know in no uncertain terms that you don`t have time to do their chores. Or, if your job isn`t dependent on the phone, just take it off the hook, or screen your calls.UncertaintyUnless you move your regular job home, chances are you`ll be working on your own, as a freelancer or running your own business. And that`s a very scary thing, because it means that some months there will be more money than others and if you want to survive, it can be extremely stressful!The Solution: Start your business working after your normal job until you`ve built it up to the point that you are comfortable living without the regular paycheck.Working from home isn`t all bliss and rainbows, it`s hard work sometimes. You`ll need to be self-disciplined and able to blow off silly things like dishes and vacuuming in order to make your business a success. However, the rewards are well worth it.

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