4 Mistakes to Avoid When Working From Home

working from home

Working from home can be amazing! The ability to set your own schedule is definitely a luxury that traditional office workers cannot afford and this is just one of the numerous perks of running your own business from home.
However, if unchecked, working from home can be bedeviled by the very freedom and flexibility it promises. So, here are four common mistakes that people make when working from home and how you can avoid them.

Having No Designated Workplace

While the “make-money-in-your-pajamas” promise is real, that definitely doesn’t mean you can afford to stay in bed all day with your laptop. You can’t keep toggling it around the kitchen and the living room either. This will only reduce your focus and productivity.

So, as a fix, you need to have a designated home office – preferably, a well-ventilated large room that contains everything you need in a typical office. If you can’t afford to set apart an entire room, you can as well create a conducive workstation in your bedroom. A good workstation should contain a table, a comfortable chair, your laptop, a pen, a booklet and every other thing you need for a productive workday.

Starting Each Day without a Plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – says the old maxim. And this is particularly true when working from home. Starting your day with no clear objectives in mind means you’ll accept whatever comes along – and that will greatly affect your productivity.

So, at the start of each week, write out a list of goals you want to achieve that week. Then break down these goals into your daily schedules including the specific tasks you must perform to achieve those goals. Maintaining measurable daily goals is a vital step in running a successful business from home, as it will improve your focus and discipline.

Allowing too Many Interruptions

While working from home helps to avoid distractions from chatty coworkers, it certainly isn’t free of time-sapping interruptions. When you’re working a few feet away from the TV with absolutely no supervision, the temptation to “quickly see” another episode of your favorite TV show suddenly becomes more difficult to resist. For non-TV folks, interruptions may also come in the form of social media, phone calls from friends and family or even answering emails.

If unchecked, these distractions will literally annihilate your daily productivity and of course, your earnings as well. So, in order to avoid this chaotic lifestyle, set apart a specific time in the day to attend to all these less-important activities.

For instance, after working for five straight hours, you can take a one-hour break to attend to emails, phone calls, social media or even your favorite TV show, before continuing your workday. And once you resume work, shut out all channels of distraction. You could even turn off your phone and internet connection if necessary.

Not Treating Your Work as a Business

To succeed in your work-from-home exploits, you need to get this little fact engraved in your mind – I’m running a business! It isn’t a hobby or fun activity – it’s a business. And for your business to succeed, you need to run it with a business mentality.

You need to treat your daily responsibilities with the same level of seriousness you would show in the office when there are clear-cut expectations from your supervisor. And once you realize and do this, you’ll be nicely set-up for success.

Author bio: Maria Espie Vidal writes for Timedoctor, a productivity app that helps you work anytime, anywhere you want. 

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Gwenn Doria

Founder and Author at Virtual Success Avenue
Hey there, awesome! I started this blog because I understand the challenges of starting out and thriving as a professional working from home. My aim is to empower aspiring and fellow Virtual Assistants by sharing tips, inspiring stories and lessons learned about the Virtual Assistant industry. Get to know me more by visiting the "About Me" page. 🙂 Cheers!