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What Does It Take To Work From Home?

Mar 12, 2008
So you think you've got what it takes to work from home and are ready to take the plunge. Good for you! Maybe you're a stay-at-home mom looking for a little extra income. Or perhaps you want to quit your full-time job to focus more on your family. Whatever the reason, there are few things more satisfying than taking control of your time and your income potential. But, as you are probably aware, with your so-called freedom and flexibility come many challenges.

Here are a few challenges you will likely face as you make this transition into work-at-home momhood.

Discipline to Work - You know that the laundry will be calling your name. The temptation to scrub those dishes will be ever present, as will the desire to call your best friend to chat instead of making those business calls. Being home all day puts you in a major distraction zone. There are certainly things that have to be done but without the discipline to actually get to work, your work-at-home business will be shutting down in no time.

Discipline to Rest - On the flip side, you need to know when to quit. People who work from home are more likely to describe themselves as workaholics. Because your office is only a few steps away, work is always in sight and on your mind. And it often takes discipline to refocus your energy and your thoughts on more important things - like your family.

Flexibility. Realize that things are bound to happen that require you to be able to drop what you are doing and pick it up at a later time. Illness, appliance repairs, school matters, and other interruptions that are beyond your control. The good news is most women are naturally better than men when it comes to multi-tasking. We can talk on the phone, feed the baby and type an email at the same time. When you work at home, you need to be able to switch hats at record speed and sometimes wear several at once.

Isolation. If you're known as a social butterfly, the isolation you will encounter when working from home will certainly be a challenge. There may be days when you feel lonely and desperate for some adult interaction. Be sure to regularly make time for lunch or coffee with a friend, sign up for an occasional educational class or lecture, or schedule play dates for your kids along with other moms who also need to get out.

Organization. Research shows that an unorganized office or home results in added stress. There is much wisdom in the adage: A place for everything and everything in its place. Of course, you actually live in your home and work in your office so spotless and completely clutter free is virtually impossible. However, simply taking a few moments each day to de-clutter and straighten things up will do wonders for your sanity.

One last thing you'll need to acquire is the ability to cut yourself some slack. If you have an unproductive day, tell yourself tomorrow will be better. Give yourself plenty of room for making mistakes and learning just what it takes to work from home. As you begin this new venture of work-at-home mom, hopefully you'll find that any challenge you'll face won't compare to the blessing of being home with your kids.
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