People really sometimes need to adjust their mindset when they switch from a regular career to working from home. It is just not the same and believe it or not even though your time is more flexible, you can easily become distracted and even start ‘slacking’ if you don’t cultivate good work habits.
When you worked at a job it is likely all the structure was already there and you just walked in and sat down. There are procedures and facilities already being used and you just need to learn how to do them. You have likely been given a job description that outlines your duties and the corresponding deadlines; you are either told or agree to your regular hours, lunch hour, etc. If you want to keep your job you will stick to the plan.
When you decide to start your own home business, you start right at creating an office space for yourself and build up from there. You do need a specific area for your business. While it is possible to work from anywhere you will find that as time goes by you need some organization and structure because you are being distracted and interrupted and/or somehow not getting things done timely.
For many reasons it is ideal if you have a spare room with a door where you can create an office space. Lacking that, then a specific area in a room that is used only for your business is next best. Even if you have to keep all your stuff in a box beside your computer, keep it segregated from newspapers, toys, ashtrays, cups, etc. Take it out as you need to use and put it back when you are done.
Part of your home business plan should include scheduling. Although your time is flexible when you work at home, you have to have specific times where you commit to devote to your business. It depends on your personal preference and energy level whether you want to do all your work for 8 straight and then quit, or whether you would prefer to work a few hours, take a break for a while, and then complete your tasks later in the day.
The point is though that you need to focus only on your work when you are working, get it done and then move on. One real challenge in working from home other than getting your kids to respect your work time, is to convince your friends and family that although you are working from home, you are working, and as such you can’t keep being interrupted by the phone and unannounced visits during your work time.
This may be difficult to convey without a conflict or hurt feelings, so just turn your voice mail on and do not answer it unless it is an emergency. This is a good idea anyway to screen your calls as when you start to stay home you will realize how many times telemarketers will call and some will call repeatedly every day until they get an answer. It is best just not to answer or return their calls unless you are actually interested in whatever they are selling which is unlikely.