A growing number of people are deciding to reclaim their freedom by working from home, either by running their own business or taking on a remote job position. Working when you want, where you want, and how you want attracts many of us who are sick of the rigid structure of traditional 9-5s. However, the whole concept of working independently is a lot easier said than done, so many people end up failing quickly. There are tons of things to consider after deciding to work from home, and it can all be quite overwhelming. First things first: You have got to cultivate the right mindset.
These eight tips on cultivating the right mindset for working from home will act as the foundation for a sustainable and successful career from home.
1. The journey is the destination
When you first get started working from home, things will be hard. You’ll probably end up working twice as long for half the money you got at your last day job. Your whole day could easily just be one big episode of uncertainty and worry, and that’s okay because you’re not doing this to be the next Forbes success story right away. The point is that you are independent and not relying on anyone else, living on your own terms and schedule. Appreciating and savoring that at the end of the day is the best way to retain the optimism you need to carry on, despite any struggles.
2. Systemizing everything
You’ll be surprised at the number of things that will waste time and throw you off your game. This is why you should have an absolute system for every little thing you have to maximize the ease and efficiency of your day. Every time you do something, think back and say, “Okay, how can I do that next time in a quicker, more stress-free way?” The more tasks that become second nature, the more brainpower you can devote to more sophisticated and important things. Whether it’s constructing a 300-page accounting spreadsheet or something as simple as logging on to your email, think of a system.
3. Priorities Matter
You have to figure out your hierarchy of what matters and what doesn’t. This is the first step to dealing with challenging workloads. If you spend too long worrying about minuscule things that can be done at a later time, then you’ll leave yourself very little time and energy to deal with the more important things. It’s a good idea to create a list or a doc with all of your priorities and then tackle them in order of importance. Failure to do this can result in you rushing to finish something at 2 am because you spent all your time doing things that could have been done three days later. Rushing to do things at 2 am doesn’t usually produce your best work, now does it?
4. The right environment
Your surroundings can easily affect your mindset and will help or hinder your mindset. This might be slightly different for everyone, but we should all consider it. You don’t have to have some chic and clean office space from one of those trendy lifestyle magazines, but you have to put some effort into it. Try to create an environment that is clean, relaxing, and void of unnecessary stimulation and distractions. Feel free to switch it up too. Treat yourself and go to your favorite cafe every Friday, if you want. The important thing is to make your environment work for you, not against you.
5. Time is money
The reality is that there are only so many hours in a day. Scheduling every single minute of your day isn’t for everyone, but not having an agenda at all is just plain immature. It is well known that Bill Gates and Elon Musk have intense scheduling habits, constantly finding the most efficient way to accomplish all of their goals each day. Use an app or be old-school and use a paper agenda, whatever you vibe with. Just do it.
6. Focus! Eliminating distraction
Probably the most classic time-waster is doing dumb things on the internet when you’re supposed to be being productive. Set up your computer so that watching cat videos and scrolling through Facebook is either impossible or very difficult. It’s not too extreme to block these pages from your browsers so that even if you have the temptation, you remember you can’t do it, and you carry on with your work task.
7. Dress codes
It might be tempting to just stay in your pajamas all day. There’s a lot of evidence that your wardrobe can affect your mindset as well. Maybe putting on a sharp suit isn’t going to change you as a person. A more professional outfit will tell your brain that it’s time to get things done. Mentally separate your leisure from work by having clothes for each.
8. Your most effective hours
Some people have a priceless mental clarity right at sunrise and do their best work then. For others, it might be the evening. Whatever that window is for you, take note and use it to your advantage. Personally, I find doing anything of difficulty before 8 am to be mental torture. I actually feel a lot more focused and productive between 10 am and 3 pm, and then again between 8 pm-10 pm. Lots of people think it’s crazy to split up your day. But if it feels natural and normal to you, don’t fight it. Figure out what times work for you and focus on using those hours to get the bulk of your work done.
More and more people are working from home as writers, marketers, designers, online business owners, and more. Today’s modern world has even created opportunities in the financial world where you can make a living share trading from your home. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, because, in the end, mindset is everything. Getting your mindset on track is the first and most important thing for doing anything, especially working from home because of the number of new responsibilities at your feet. So, before you jump in headfirst, use these tips to cultivate your mindset for working from home.