work from home

You Try Working from Home

In today’s economy, it isn’t uncommon for people to have multiple jobs. Many people juggle two and three jobs just make ends meet. I am no different, except in that two of my jobs let me work from home. For some reason, people don’t understand that concept.

If I was working at Starbucks, people wouldn’t call me and after I said I was at work and keep jabbering on for over half an hour. Working from home takes a certain level of discipline, and it is made harder by friends and family who just don’t get it.

I know that traditionally you “go” to work. Yes, you actually leave your home and travel to another location. You have a pretty standard work day, and then you drive/ride home. When you work from home, you do all the things you would do if you had an actual office, but you do them from the comforts of your own home.

That offers a certain amount of flexibility. You can adapt your schedule to be so much more than a typical 9-5.

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However, you still have deadlines and expectations to meet. I think that is the part people just don’t get. If I have three articles and a blog with deadlines at midnight, and I have given myself five hours to get it all done, I don’t really have time to do anything else. I know it might just seem like I am at home hanging out, but I am really quite busy.

I know people who work from home full-time, and they experience this on a much bigger scale. They may be able to take shorter days here and there. In many cases, they don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn.

However, there are days where they work long hours to generate sales, meet deadlines, and complete their respective tasks. People just assume that working from home is a lot of veggingaround the house, but many times it is time consuming hard work. In my case, I work four jobs, so I have to manage my time wisely. I have to set aside time to work on writing projects and for Cha Cha and stick to those timelines.

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Otherwise, I would always be behind. As my writing business keeps picking up, I am going to need to focus on this more and more. It isn’t “free” time and I can’t just drop everything to accommodate others.

So the next time you call a friend who works from home and they tell you they are busy with work, tell them you will call back later. The next time they say they can’t hang out because they are working, just say “Okay” and let them get back to it. Just because they are at home and not at an “office” does not mean they are not working diligently to complete their tasks.

 

3 Comments

  1. This can really be frustrating. I ran into the same kind of mindset when I homeschooled my kids. People thought I could just talk or leave the house. They had the attitude we were “playing” school.

    It’s the same with a home business. I guess the best thing I can advise is that you set the tone. Take your business seriously and talk about it as a “business” to other people. Don’t answer the phone during your work hours unless it is work related or an emergency. My son keeps telling me not to answer the phone, but it’s so hard to let it ring. He works from home also, and is very disciplined about his time. I think we need to be firm when we get those unexpected calls or visits and politely say, “I’ll have to call you back when I”m done working.”

     
  2. Got that right — I’ve worked primarily from home for about 9 years, and half the time for the preceeding ten. Making people understand that this isn’t another way of saying you have the day off is crucial.

    The other problem with working from home is that you’re always at work — it’s easy to find yourself working 16 – 20 hour days, 7 days a week to get things done.

    For me, the trick is to try to keep “office hours” — when it’s time to work, it’s time to work, and (when at all possible) it’s time to be off work, walk away from it.

     
  3. Thanks for the advice…it is nice to hear from people in the same boat!

     

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