There are many things that you will probably have to deal with when working from home. You haven’t thought about them, but that’s ok. Our expectations are usually high at the beginning and all the positive stuff we keep reading online might have something to do with it.
A photo of someone coding on his laptop while drinking a mojito at a tropical beach can be a bit misleading at first. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet, so for now, let’s start by focusing on three main areas where most of the problems occur.
Surviving at the beginning
Every beginning has its struggles, and this is no different. At first, you will start thinking that it is too good to be true. You might feel excited and focus on how awesome your life is going to be from now on, at least for the first few days.
After that, reality kicks in and you will start thinking that you are fooling yourself and not really working since you don’t have something to show to the world. It is too soon to have something ready, but you might also feel that way if you love what you do. It will feel more like a hobby than real work, which could stress you out.
Heavy pressure comes into play and before you know it, you start working crazy hours to make your plan work and not fail, something that is always at the back of your head and terrifies you. You can keep telling your family and friends that all is under control, but you won’t be convinced. Well, most probably they won’t be convinced either, you will sense it and stress out even more.
- Get ready from the start and calculate the risk. How much risk are you willing to take?
- Create a plan before even starting. It can be your guide and help you along the way.
- Have a backup plan. Definitely have a backup plan. Call it Plan: Don’t Fail.
- If you already have a 9 to 5 job, take advantage of it and build your business alongside. More time and effort are required in that case (you will have to work crazy hours) but if you want to play it safe, this is your best bet.
- Have a budget and ensure that you will be able to live for at least a few months without any extra income. That will give you the time you need to get started.
- It’s worth mentioning that the pressure can also be very beneficial for your work since your mind may come up with great ideas to face it, so don’t always try to fight it.
Work and personal life in the mix
This can’t be emphasized enough but separating your personal life from your work life will most probably be one of the biggest issues you will have to face at least for the first few months. It will be hard to separate it for yourself, imagine how difficult it could be for your friends and family.
Home is the place where you live but is now also the place where you work. Imagine how easily and in how many different ways you can mix it all up. It is a piece of cake. Even if you eventually handle it for yourself, you will also have to handle it for others as well.
Their expectations are completely different now that you are working from home. They think that you can be more available now that you have your own schedule, but the truth is completely the opposite since you might end up working much more than a usual 9 to 5 job.
- Create a schedule and stick to it. This will help your mind separate the hours you work and the ones you don’t. Try to experiment to see which hours work the best for you.
- Let your family and close friends know when you are working and when it is better to reach you if they want. Explain the situation and struggles you might face to them and they will respect it. It is always better to clear things up before even starting since it will make it easier for both them and you overall.
- It really helps if you can have a room dedicated to work. An office where once you enter, your mind clears and starts working towards your goals.
- You will have to set boundaries to yourself early on, because if you don’t, you might stop making progress really fast.
- Sometimes things might not work the way you want but that’s fine. Many days won’t go as you would like to but it’s important to keep trying for consistency with the way you work.
The greatest battles will be in your mind
Working on your own can become a continuous battle inside your mind. From accounting and marketing to product creation and support, you are constantly responsible for all aspects of your business which can make you worry and think way too much.
Worrying and thinking too much can easily damage your productivity and hurt your business. Your limits might be tested, especially if things take an unexpected turn, so be prepared, and always keep moving.
Working on your own also means that you have to take full responsibility for everything. You won’t be able to blame someone else for your shortcomings BUT that’s a good thing. Taking responsibility will eventually make you more resourceful and help you overcome the problems you might face.
- Stop stressing out about the things you are not in control. Worry about those that you are and do something about them.
- Don’t blame other people, the situation or ‘the system’ about anything that goes wrong. Try to find ways to improve yourself and do what you can to make things better.
- One of the best advice we could give you is to start winning small battles. Set goals on an environment where you have control over and achieve them. For example, let’s say you’ve always wanted to start exercising for 30 minutes a day but you never manage to do it. If you can’t achieve such goal, then how could you work from home and achieve far-fetched goals in an environment you can’t directly control?
- Do a few additional small tasks towards your goals each day. They might seem insignificant at the beginning but after a year they can become something really huge.
- Review your goals each day and keep yourself motivated.
- Please, don’t think too much.
Don’t let yourself down, it’s only the beginning
There are so many things worth fighting for, but you must really want them to have a chance at them. It’s always better taking a sneak peek and getting an idea of what to expect first. This way, you will be much better prepared once you are ready to pursuit your endeavor.
In the next article, we will leave behind the negative aspect and focus on the positive one. Stay tuned, we can’t wait to explore all those awesome things you can have when working from home.