Part of the purpose of this blog is for me to share things I have learned about being an entrepreneur who works alone. While I’m not a huge fan of the word “solopreneur”, it does encapsulate my work life. I also work from home, so if you do too, this post is for you.
Six tips for people who work from home - people like you.
1. Your couch is dangerous.
Ella was sick, she was home from school with me for a few days recently. She spent the day on the couch watching tv, reading, and resting. I spent the day next to her on my computer. When she returned to school, I worked for two more days from the couch. My back was aching, and I felt much less productive. The couch is a symbol of laziness and procrastination.
If you work from home you must carve out your corner. Set up an ergonomic work space that is distraction free. Avoid the couch at all costs (unless it’s to console your sick kiddo). I’m back in my office now and feeling much better.
2. Schedule time each day to use social media to connect with people.
I’ll be the first to admit that social media can be a distraction from getting the work done. However, if you are truly being social, it’s not a bad place to pop into. If you work alone, you need interaction through-out your day. People need people. Allocate a little time through your day to log into Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to say hello. See what your friends are up to and meet some new people. Use an app like Focus to switch off access to social networks when your time is up.
3. Beware of the kitchen.
When you work from home your fridge is close - too close. Making snacks is a form of procrastination. Your kitchen equals lost time and gained weight. If you must stretch your legs (and you should), pop into your kitchen for a quick glass of water instead. Staying hydrated is important, and your increased bathroom breaks will also have you up for a stretch.
Take breaks every hour to stretch. Reach for the sky, reach down to your toes, get up! The best thing about working from home is nobody hears your grunts as you get into the downward dog position on the floor. Here are some stretches from Suzanne Bowen you should be doing.
5. Find a professionals lunch or breakfast group you can join or start your own.
Find a good group of professionals who you can network with. I wrote all about this in my book, New Business Networking. Getting out of your house to meet people is a positive way to spend some time each week or two. If you can’t find a group to join, consider starting your own.
6. Reward yourself.
When you work for a decent company, rewards are given for meeting milestones. Do the same for yourself. Set your goals and get to them. If you meet your monthly goal, reward yourself with a movie or a hike. Do something for the fun of it because you deserve it.
Working from home isn’t always easy. Staying productive is key. Time is your most precious commodity and a terrible thing to waste.