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7 Tips To Help You Maintain Your Discipline While Working at Home

Aug 17, 2007
The good news about working for yourself is that you don't have a boss breathing down your neck. The bad news about working for yourself is that you don't have a boss breathing down your neck.

Working for yourself can be great, but it can also be frustrating, especially if you don't feel that your self-discipline is in good working order. Self-employment gives you more flexibility to decide when you will go to work, what your priorities are, and when you need to take a break. But running your own business generally requires more self-discipline than you would need if you worked as an employee.

Thing is, self-discipline is critical. It is easy to get distracted or procrastinate. Family interruptions and our own resistance-especially when it comes to tasks that we don't like doing but that still need doing-can get in the way of making steady progress. Without a boss and coworkers around to help keep you focused, it will be easy to spend too much time eating, sleeping, watching television, golfing, or even working. You must be disciplined.

Here are some initial suggestions to help you increase your work discipline:

1. Treat the business as a business. Simply having this attitude can easily eliminate many problems. When you treat yourself like a real business, others will too.

2. Keep office hours. A realistic daily schedule fosters discipline. For many loan officers, discipline means getting to the office by 9 a.m. and putting in a full day of work. Decide what your standard office hours will be and stick to them. Break an hour or so for lunch as you normally would, but treat it like work.

3. Make a daily task plan. Plan what you are going to do in the course of the day, and when you will accomplish each task. Consider making a rule that when you are done with the tasks on that day's schedule, you are done for the day. This will help avoid workaholism or burnout.

4. Know your rhythm. Some of us are morning people, some are best in the afternoon, while others thrive at 3 AM. It is important to use your most productive time wisely. Determine your best times of day, and arrange your schedule according to those times as well as to the demands of your work-if you rock and roll at 3 AM, for example, there will be some tasks you can do then, and others (like calling a client) that won't be practical.

5. Set rules for yourself. Decide the circumstances under which you will take time off to play, read or watch television, what interruptions you are willing to allow, and when you will do household chores.

6. Dress for work, even at home. Similarly, some folks find that it helps to dress nice. No suit required, but the casual Friday look, for example, might be appropriate.

7. Create "company policies." In addition to setting rules for yourself, it is equally important to set policies so that family, friends, and business associates know what to expect from you and how to behave. For instance, you may find that your spouse or a neighbor expects you to do chores while they are at work. You may want to do this, or you may not. Either way, having policies that include this kind of thing makes such decisions easier.
About the Author
Ameen Kamadia, known as "The Millionaire Loan Officer" offers dozens of free articles about mortgage marketing. Get dozens of great cheap lead generation ideas at his free Mortgage Marketing website.
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