How to succeed at working from home

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Monday, September 1, 2014

After many years working at a big corporation you decided to take your knowledge and experience and start your own business. You knew of many ways you could improve on the goods or services of your former company and were eager to become the decision maker and put your ideas to the test.

It did not take long for you to discover that working from home on your own was not the nirvana you had imagined it to be.

One key element that was missing was a predictable routine. You showed up for work at the same time, you performed your assigned tasks, occasional disruptions aside, with comforting regularity, and then you went home at the end of the day.

Now, that routine is gone, seemingly replaced by utter chaos.

You follow your morning routine just like before, but just as you settle in to launch an important task, one of the kids gets sick and has to stay home from school, or any one of dozens of other disruptions arise to wreck your routine and throw your well-conceived plans into an uproar. You feel an uncomfortable pressure building within you and a frustration over what almost feels like a well-organised conspiracy to thwart your success.

Learning to deal with this type of situation is critical in order to successfully make the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

A good first step is to recall similar situations from your corporate days when you successfully dealt with interruptions of all kinds on a daily basis. A co-worker who thought nothing of stopping by your office to discuss trivia or personal, non-work related nonsense, or a computer that worked fine yesterday suddenly deciding that the operating system upgrade it demanded performed more like a downgrade.

The major difference is that now, the unproductive co-worker has now assumed the greater significance of a family member. Just as you were able to gently persuade your co-worker that it was in his or her best interest for both of you to focus on important tasks, you can gently train a spouse or the kids that in order for them to enjoy the benefits of having your around, they must allow you to function in your role of business owner.

As for that problematic computer, some things never change, do they?

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