When you first start working from home, you’re thrilled at your freedom. You don’t have to dress up for work. You don’t have to fight rush hour commute. You don’t have to take orders on what to do. And you don’t have to ask permission to go to the bathroom and leave your workstation unattended.
What’s more, there is no cap on how much you can earn, how many hours you have to work, or when you should start and end your day. You can even give yourself the day off if you want without having to come up with some ingenious excuse to call in sick.
Unfortunately, after awhile you notice that this freedom has its shadow side. There are many things that can derail your work from home plans:
Here are a few things that could go wrong and how to turn them around fast:
1. You fall into a technological black hole.
The worst case scenario is that your technology breaks down. You might be able to work around problems with your phone or printer. But everything grinds to a halt if you have computer problems.
Here are some things that could happen and what to do about them:
- * Your computer crashes and nothing you do can reboot it. In this case, your hard drive may have stopped working. Contact a hard drive recovery service to get help recovering your data if you have not backed it up yet.
- * You lose Internet connection. Rather than panic or fiddling with wires, stop making wild guesses about what might go wrong. Instead, call your Internet Service Provider. An experienced technical rep can help you troubleshoot the issue. Sometimes, too, it might be a problem on their end, but at least now you know and can wait for them to fix it.
- * Your computer is not working well. Perhaps your programs don’t open up. Perhaps your computer is painfully slow. Perhaps your screen freezes up at random every now and then, and you need to reboot to get it going again. Don’t panic. It might be something you can fix yourself. Either visit an online technical forum where you can ask questions or call someone who can help. If this doesn’t help, take it into a computer repair store.
2. You are not getting much work done, regardless of how hard you work.
This could be an issue with how you are managing your time. Effective time management is crucial to a successful work-from-home career. Unfortunately, though, setting and sticking to a work schedule can be difficult in a home environment. Thankfully, time management tips like the following can boost productivity, reduce work-related stress and enhance the odds of having a successful, enjoyable career:
- * Set a schedule. The key to setting a good schedule is figuring out what works best for you; according to factors like kids, personal lives and other commitments, no two schedules are alike. So, a great place to start is by listing your daily duties and responsibilities, and work from there.
- * Rearrange your space. Sometimes the issue is you are getting frustrated by not being able to find stuff in a messy office. Find efficient ways to work in a small space.
- * Use management software to help you organize your work. Visual tools like Kanban boards can clarify your workflow. Kanban boards can help you avoid distractions and stay focused. You will do all the right things in the right order of importance. At a glance, you can see work-pending, work-in-progress, and work-completed.
- * Arrive on time. If you start the day late, then everything is chaotic and your mood suffers. By arriving on time, you will be able to calmly schedule and organize your day in the most effective way.
3. You just can’t get into the mood to be productive.
There are many reasons why you can’t get in the mood to put in a good day’s work.
- * You don’t feel well. You either didn’t sleep well, didn’t eaten enough or are stiff and achy. Do what you can to feel better. Perhaps, eat something nourishing or go for a walk.
- * You had a bad day yesterday. Start each day as a clean slate. Simply roll over projects that you didn’t complete yesterday and forget about your feelings of frustration about not getting work done as quickly as you had hoped.
- * You don’t know how to do something. Don’t procrastinate because you’re feeling intimidated. Figure out how you can learn what you need to do. Is there a blog you can read? Is there a Youtube tutorial you can watch? Is there a book you can buy? Is there a class you can sign up for?
- * You have a lot of negative self-judgement. Your website is not as professional as your friend’s website. You don’t work as fast or as efficiently as you imagine you should. You feel you aren’t getting ahead in your entrepreneurial or consulting career. “In reality, every career has setbacks, obstacles, and failures, says Deepak Chopra. “There will always be someone richer, smarter, and more successful than you. These facts have nothing to do with how worthy you are. The voice of self-judgment is misleading you, and the sooner you stop listening to it, the better.”
While holding yourself up to a high standard is a wonderful thing, you also have to give yourself some slack. When you have setbacks, don’t make things worse through negative self-talk. It takes time to be great at anything.