If you are a freelancer or you have the kind of job you can easily do online, you surely want to know how to work from home efficiently. Although the first thought that comes to mind when you think of working from home is relaxation, things are not always like that. In fact, it’s nothing like that.
This article is dedicated to those who already work from home, as well as to those who are considering switching to this kind of lifestyle. It’s easy to jump from the extreme end of working on an office schedule, with tons of work procedures to the other end of complete chaos, where you think you can work however you like, with no rules.
However, with a little patience (especially with yourself) and some discipline, your working from home can turn into the dream job.
We spoke with several of our top affiliates from our platform to find out how to work from home, juggling the daily schedule, passing from unpleasant activities to happy ones, without ignoring your famliy, your house chores or your hobbies.
How many hours do you work from home?
Answer: how many you want. It depends on you, on how you plan it and how well you cut out time wasting or non productive activities, like endelessly scrolling down Facebook News Feed. The benefit of working from home is that you can distribute your working time depending on the needs. Today you can work 9 hours and tomorrow only 3.
There are days when I sit in front of the laptop from early morning until I fall asleep. There are others when I don’t even turn it on. – Claudia Pleşu
Besides, there are more busy or more chill times. When you work from home, during the less busy times, you don’t have to stay in an office, even if you don’t have things to do.
The working week
The working week can also be the way you want it. If you work with other people, you will most likely have to adjust your working schedule depending on the meetings or calls you set up with them. Also, if your life partner has a Monday to Friday schedule, you will surely want to have time off together.
Sometimes, not even vacations are completely work-free. When you know that everything you do will be reflected in the results, you will want to at least check the status of your projects, even if you are on an exotic beach or on top of a mountain.
It happens sometimes that I squeeze in my laptop in the vacation luggage. But when you like what you do and you can see your work is paying off, you never feel it as a burden. – Daniela Văduva
How do you set up the battle plan
In case it is not very clear yet, I tell you again that you can decide on your own work schedule, considering the way you usually operate.
If you are a morning person, you will start out early in the morning. If not, you will become active somewhere after lunch and become really productive towards the evening or even at night. It also depends on the environment you are in and other responsabilities you have.
The main advantage is that you have the flexibility to take breaks that you can spend in a much nicer manner than in an office: you can take a walk, do sports, nap or cook. Sometimes insipration and energy come from activities that have nothing to do with work.
The first thing done in the morning depends on each person. According to some studies, the first thing that most people do in the morning is to check messages and news on Facebook. Others make coffee and breakfast, other go for a jog or take the kids to school.
Following the first contact with reality every morning, it’s good that you sit down in front of your computer and check the status: emails, social media for projects (not for wasting time), affiliate commissions or messages, what is the plan for the day. It’s recommended that you make a daily as well as a monthly plan. Also, it’s a good idea to compare results from similar periods so you can take actions to improve or maintain results.
How to work from home without losing your head
When you make the daily plan, you need to consider again how you work and how your energy flow is usually distributed.
The standard recommendation is that the most complex activities to be done in the morning, when your brain is rested, while the routine or less wearing ones sometime later in the day. Other times you need to think of emergencies too. On the other hand, there are people who start out slower in the morning and need to begin with simple things in order to warm up.
I like to start the day with easy tasks so I can do the more complicated ones later. I do the “”warm up” and then I “shift to the next gear”. Daniela Văduva
Yet, do not forget that it’s difficult to be creative, to learn technical stuff and to build up a strategy too, all at the same time.
Consider the way your energy flow operates (morning or the second part of the day), assign the complex activities for the more dynamic part of the day and try to segment your tasks according to their type.
Multitasking sounds cool, but it’s inefficient. Focus on one task only and make sure you complete it.
⚠️ And don’t forget to take breaks!
The most annoying and the most delightful activities
There are two types of people: those who eat the best part of the meal first and those who wait until the end to savor it. It depends on what you prefer: to start bravely confronting the nasty tasks so you get rid of them faster or to begin by enjoying the pleasant ones first and keep putting off the difficult and painstaking ones.
Even the things that are mostly pleasant can become very nasty sometimes. For example, although you like being creative and looking for new ideas, it’s possible that you are not inspired at the press of a button and it will then become a very frustrating activity.
The most refreshing activities are those connected to the projects I enjoy the most. If a store’s products don’t inspire me, things don’t really work out, to be honest. Passion is one of my secrets…Ivona Oprişor
In such situations, you better put off the creative project for a while and either take an inspirational break or you move on to more routine like tasks.
What task management tool to use
The Internet is brimming with all kinds of tools that help you manage your daily activity. Asana, Trello, Evernote, Zoho, Basecamp are only a few of them.
Only that all these work based on your input. If you know you will not add info to it and won’t use it properly, don’t waste time to set it up. You can always go back to a simple excel table or even more basic, but highly effective – a pen and a notebook.
How to work from home and fight the less pleasant effects
When you work from home and on your own it’s easy to fall into one of these extreme ends: either your work your butt off like crazy until you fall asleep at your desk or you just can’t manage to pull yourself together to start off that planned project.
The first one happens when you have too many ideas and, because you are a one man show, there is nobody to delegate your taks to. If you are ambitious and highly excited about your project, you will be unstoppable. Passion can do damage!
The problem is I have too little time for how many ideas are going through my head. Tudor Stănică
The second extreme end is when you let yourself engaged in all kinds of counterproductive activities: spend hours on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, chat endlessly on the Messenger or Whatsapp or even worse, you turn on the TV.
How to work from home without wasting time? The success of your projects depends on your ability to focus on things. Try to group your working hours and dedicate them only to work and do the rest during breaks. The benefit of working on your own is that you can take breaks, even for 2-3 days, when you can do whatever you like. The drawback is that your income can be proportional to the effort you are willing to put in.
Another issue you will face is the lack of people to hang out with. Even though it sounds like fun to work from the living room, after a week of shuffling in your pajamas without even getting your head out the window, you will find this work from home thing like a very bad idea and feel like Robinson Crusoe on a desert island.
There are solutions, of course. You can work from other places – cafes, work hubs, parks, a friend’s office or you can travel and change the scenery every now and then. Also, you can join all kinds of new communities, like other freelancers or digital nomads (you can find groups and different communities on Facebook). You can, as well, take on new sports or cultural activities that you find interesting which will bring you together with people with similar hobbies.
Get high on your freedom!
Freedom and flexibility are, by far, the best benefits when you work on your own. You build your own working schedule according to your own will and nobody will scold you if you feel like changing it.
You enjoy the flexibility to work at any hour you please and from any place that provides the optimum working conditions. You can organize your activity so that you have time to do things that relax you and make you happy. You can travel, enjoy your hobbies and spend more time with your family and friends.
The biggest satisfaction is that I can do what I want when I want. If tomorrow I want to leave to the other side of the planet, I will probably do it. This was the thought that set me on the road many years ago and there can’t be a sweeter feeling than to know you are living the dream. – Dragoș Bunea
Besides, another major reward is to see that thing you thought of and worked on happening right now. You know it was your idea, that you put in a great deal of effort in it and now you relish on the success. Priceless! 🙂
Many thanks to the affiliates that made time in their busy schedules to share with us some of their experience and daily challenges.
Any other tips or questions are welcome in the comment section or on our Facebook page.