Working at home is the dream setup to make money. However, there is a discrepancy between perception and reality.
Anyone who has not had the chance to work at home would, in all likelihood, give an arm and a leg to leave his day job. For many people, working at home is the dream. You don’t have to get up early. You don’t have to brave the traffic. You don’t even have to dress up.
Yes, those things are true, but only to a certain degree. The dream can be real and lived, but there are things that will pull your head down from the clouds in a flash.
At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding what working at home really entails.
The work at home reality
Working in pajamas does not really help all the time.
The misconception: This is one of the most popular ideas going around about working at home. Since you are not going out of the house, there is no need to take a shower immediately and change into respectable clothing. You don’t even have to change out of your jammies at all!
The reality: You can work in your pajamas – or your birthday suit for that matter – but you’ll soon find out it doesn’t always help in getting work done. Being comfortable does wonders for productivity, yes, but there is such a thing as being too comfortable.
If you don’t change into clothes that will put you in the work mindset, then you may very well find yourself lounging around the house without realizing you’re not getting anything done.
You need to set break times and follow them.
The misconception: You can take all the breaks you want, whenever you want.
The reality: You have the option to do that, but you’ll soon find out it’s not the optimal way of doing things. If you want to make the most of your day, satisfy clients, and earn more, you’ll need a degree of structure.
I suggest setting tasks for the day, allotting time for each task, and then assigning break times. It doesn’t matter what you do during those breaks, but try to follow them as much as possible. This works two ways.
One, you don’t waste time on unnecessary breaks.
Two, you get to relax and rest. As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you feel refreshed and ready to work afterward. For me my usual break activities are:
- Play a game or two. I have lots of go-to casual games. If you’re into games, try out Cooking Dash, Injustice, and Color Switch. They really take your mind off work for a bit.
- Read the news. For breaks, I stay away from serious, depressing news. Instead, I read inspiring sites like Upworthy.
- Watch videos. I’m not a cat video person, but there are tons of videos that fit my taste. Just the other day, I watched this video, which every Doctor Who fan will love. Here let me share it with you.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your kids and not feel like a bad parent.
I’m not a parent, but when I spend several days at my sister’s, I have a taste of what it’s like. I try to follow my routine – wake up, exercise, eat breakfast, clean up, work, etc. – but it’s not easy. My three nephews like hanging around and keep asking me what I’m doing. When I say I’m working, they ask what I’m working on…and the questions go on and on and on.
At some point, I have to tell them to go outside and not disturb me. I end up ignoring them.
If you are a parent and think that working at home will give you more time with the kids, you may have to face up to the fact that you won’t be spending as much time as you thought you would. Worse, you will probably have to push them away to get work done.
You’ll find yourself feeling – and looking – like a slob at some point.
Circling back to working in your pajamas…
Everyone wants to be comfortable, and what better place to be comfortable in but at home? If, however, you don’t watch out, you’ll find yourself taking “comfortable” to a whole new level.
One level down, not up.
While you may not intentionally let this happen, if you’ve got tons of work, deadlines around the corner, and pressure from other things, you just might let yourself go and end up like a slob.
Don’t feel bad if this happens. It does happen.
Just make sure you clean up quickly. 😉
The reality of working at home is not all sugar and spice, but I’d still choose it over going back to a desk job any day. Even if it means reaching a point where I have to be forced to consider flannel pajamas as NOT suitable for working.
Seasoned freelancers, your thoughts?