Overcoming the challenges of working from home

While working from home sounds like an awesome way to earn money, it does come with several challenges.

The advantages we often hear or read about on the subject always glorify this line of work, but in reality, working from home actually requires a certain amount of self-discipline, as well as the mental ability to separate home life from work.

In the beginning, it might sound fantastic to get out of bed and head straight to the computer while still in pajamas, but over time, this may become redundant. We are social animals by nature and the need to see other people and interact is what essentially keeps us sane. I do not believe that as human beings we are really built to live isolated, and this is why extreme isolation is a type of severe punishment used in prisons. It’s psychology.

As a mom who homeschools my own kids, I am quite familiar with the concept of working from home while maintaining a certain level of sanity. There are several things that I have to do in order to accomplish the things that I do, as well as have a healthy balance of human interactions with friends, homeschooling my kids, taking care of my home as well as run my business successfully.

Self-discipline

This is probably the most important point that I have to make. Without self-discipline, working from home becomes a party. It’s very easy to slack off, get distracted with all the things happening around the house, postpone working hours and sleep in for longer than we should.

Self-discipline means getting up in the morning and starting our workday without having to answer to anyone. It means that you respect your own schedule, take reasonable lunch hours and breaks and finish the tasks that you have set out to do. Having self-discipline means that you need to:

Get dressed in the morning

Psychologically, it is not very healthy for your mind to sit by the computer in your pajamas while sipping on coffee. Your mind needs to differentiate between home relax time and work time. When you get up in the morning, get dressed, brush your hair, put some makeup on if this is your routine, and then sit down to start working. This will mentally make a divide between relax time and working time. It will also make you feel good about yourself. Self-care should always be at the top of the list, whether you are working from home or not.

Don’t confuse home tasks with work hours

When you go to work, whatever mess you left behind at home is out of sight, therefore out of mind. When working from home, this distinction might become particularly more difficult to apply. When you work from home, you might notice that the kitchen is messy and feel the urge to clean it up before getting back to work. As innocent as this move might seem, this will actually cut your work hours. Whatever house task is unfinished, must be left alone until your work shift is over. Learn to not be bothered while you are working. If you were in an office, you wouldn’t be doing any of those tasks, therefore when you are punched in, it is not the time for anything that has to do with the house. Separate this from your mind and focus on your work.

Go out after work

The need for social interaction is important. When you work from home, take an hour to step out of the house at the end of the day.

If you like to work out, then go to a gym or someplace social, as opposed to doing it at home. If you are on break, go grab a quick coffee at the nearest coffee shop. If you have a dog, take him to the dog park and chitchat with the other dog owners. Whatever it is, step out of the house and interact with people. This will keep you mentally healthy and will prevent you from feeling completely isolated because you work from home. Taking particular care with interacting and stepping out of the house when your tasks are finished is particularly important when you work from home.

Punch out

There is always a “danger” when working from home, that your work life will take over your personal and family life. It is important to set a finish time and respect it. Punch out and put the work away when your schedule dictates you to. There will always be things to do when you work from home and particularly if you run your own business. Separating family life from home life is important for your family, relationships and own sanity. Achieving a balance with work and home can be tricky but is the healthy choice. Close the computer and focus on other stuff. Tomorrow will come around soon, and you will be able to get right back into it.

Why do bad things always happen to me?

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