Thursday, 6 September 2012

Working from Home – How to Avoid Cabin Fever
I have been working from home for a little over a year now, and lots of people say to me oh how do you do it I just couldn’t stay motivated. And it’s true staying motivated is tough, but I think being a person driven by guilt (not always healthy but in this case it helps) has given me the drive to get out of pyjamas every day. I am one of those people who if I’m not busy doing something or improving or learning then I start to feel guilty like I am wasting time. Which is a feeling I started to feel guilty about having after reading The Busy Trap  I feel guilty for feeling like I need to be busy – how confusing.

Anyway if you’re not driven by that guilt like me here are a few tips to stay motivated:

  1. Set up a work space, put up posters or pictures or whatever gets you inspired. This is a work space and work space only; don’t let kid’s toys or anything else interrupt this space. It should look professional.

  2. Set an alarm. Get up on time every day, whether you plan to hit the gym first or not. Get up at the same time every day so you start at the same time every day.

  3. Plan your days. Get up, get ready, check personal emails, start work on time. 10 minute mid-morning break, lunch, 10 minute mid-afternoon break, finish - turn the computer off.

  4. Don’t procrastinate, it is exactly the same as if you were at an office, except worse – your boss is you! If you fail your boss, you fail. Period. There is no safety net.

  5. Play music! Have the radio going rather than discs or ipod if possible, I find the talking in-between songs feels like I have work mates... It’s true!

  6.  Make time to schedule outings. Whether it is a quick coffee for a meeting, with a friend or picking up supplies. Make sure you get out of the house. Just don’t let a quick excursion become hours at the mall or beach.

  7. Talk to yourself. I know this sounds verge of cabin fever, but saying what you think out loud means you get to use your voice and exercise your throat muscles. It also means you’ll be less likely to chew your flat mates/partners ear off when they walk in the door.

  8. Turn off Facebook! It is the biggest distraction ever invented - I swear to you! Allow yourself to check it only once or twice and each time log off and shut the browser. I’m serious! Don’t leave it sitting in a tab, it’s too tempting to open and have a peak and before you know it hours have dribbled away.

There are good and bad points about every job and every working situation, working from home is no different. It has its up sides and down sides, yes you have to work alone so if you crave and rely on workmates to get you through it’s probably not for you. But if you want the freedom of being your own boss, then give it a go – it might be the best thing you ever do!

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