Telecommuting Tips For Success

Home working. Tips for making money by telecommuting, freelancing, or setting up a business from home. Establish a structure and shut out distractions.

Home working can be liberating. Home working can be fun. It can be convenient, flexible and satisfying. But it can also be very very difficult - and, sometimes, just a little frustrating.

The reason is simple. For anyone used to the routines and regiments of office life, home working is inevitably going to throw up a number of challenges. There are two main ones which, more than anything else, are in danger of wrecking your chances of making money as a home worker.

The first is the sudden lack of structure your working life now has. For some this can be just too much to handle. All our working life we used to being told what to do and when to do it. When you make that decision to telecommute, freelance, work from home, suddenly there is no boss breathing down your neck. There's no one checking to see that you arrive at your desk on time.

So what's to stop you staying in bed another hour? Or watching just one more TV show before you get down to work?

The answer is no one - except you. Now as a home worker your motivation has to come from somewhere else. You cannot judge a day's work on whether you managed to fool the boss into thinking you've put in another industrious 10 hours while you actually read the paper and chatted to your co-workers.

So establish a motivation. For some this will be money. After all, that's why most of us work at the end of the day. Start thinking of time as money. Realise that that extra hour in bed is an hour you aren't earning a cent.

Or perhaps you are less materialistic. Perhaps your goal is to write a book simply for the satisfaction of it. Then realise that every day wasted is a day longer it will take to reach your goal.

Once you have your motivation firmly fixed in your mind, you need a structure. Plan your days in advance. Think ahead. Work out the essential steps required to achieve your goals and schedule them into the coming days and weeks.

Break it down even further into hours. For example, you might decide that the first hour of every day is dedicated to making new contacts. The second hour may be for chasing down unpaid bills. And so on. That way when you wake up in the morning you know exactly what you need to do that day. And when you reach your desk or home office or wherever you work, you will be ready to go.

Even better, at the end of the day when you have done what you promised yourself you would - you will have job satisfaction. You will know that you can rest easy and relax safe in the knowledge that you've done a proper day's work. But even if you have no motivational problems, even if your days are structured and planed down to the last second - that may not be enough.

This brings us to the second problem facing all telecommuters, freelancers and business people working from home: distractions. And I'm not talking about TV or magazines. I'm talking about family and friends. It sounds cruel to say so, but they can be a serious hindrance to making money for the home worker.

Friends who would never dream of phoning you at the office think nothing of popping round to your home for a chat. We don't want to be rude, even when we can see moneymaking minutes slip by as we sit down with them for a coffee.

Families are just as bad. When you are there - at home - it is just too easy for them to ask for a ride to the shops. Or may be you could go round and help unblock their sink? Things of course they would never dream of bothering you with if you worked away from home - in a proper job, in a real office.

It is up to you to make your friends and family understand that telecommuting, freelancing and working at home is real work. You are doing a proper job. That converted spare bedroom is a real office. Of course you will be tactful - but you must also be perfectly clear. Give them hours when you shouldn't be disturbed. Explain that there are assignments to be finished on time, deadlines to keep - or that you have important calls you must wait in for. Explain how hard you work. They probably hadn't realised.

Now you've got your motivation, you've got your structure and you are free from distractions. So earn some money. And remember - home working can be fun.

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