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Must-Dos From Work From Home Veterans

Vita V.

August 07, 2006

3.0/5.0 (2 votes total)

For many moms, writers, and artists, to earn from home is the only option. We have children who are not yet of school age whom we do not want to dump at a day care. We have art that requires more hours than there are in a day, preventing our leaving the house for a consuming 9 to 5 gig. Or we are writers who prefer to and need to isolate, to work an uninterrupted process.

But as those who come before us in the work from home category will advise, there are some requirements, some must-dos. Here are a few of them, as defined and discussed by the work from home veterans:

Keep a professional schedule. Just because you are at home, it is raining, the bed is cozy, doesn’t suggest you can take the day off. Establish a reasonable working schedule and keep it. Otherwise, you will lose momentum. As one wise person once said, it is easier to stay going than to get going (ala Albert Einstein—or was it Isaac Newton?-- and the theory that holds that “a body in motion stays in motion; a body at rest stays at rest”).

Get dressed. Remember the movie, “Oh, God!”? George Burns, playing God, suggests to John Denver, who has just been devastated and wants to do nothing but mope, that he shave, shower, and brush his teeth—to normalize, to stay feeling someone normal by doing the normal, everyday things he usually does. This, and that working in pajamas just feels so wrong, feels so antithetical to the goal. You want to be productive but you are in sleep clothes that foster a sleep mode mentality.

Discourage interruptions. This is the absolute toughest for any earn from home worker. The kids need something, spilled something, are fighting over something. The dog barks to be let out then barks to be let in. The spouse, roommate, or other “drops in” to remind you of something, ask you something, visit. Make it clear that you are at work—an hour’s drive away—and do not exist in the building, the same way you would not be present if you were at a job you had to drive to. They would not stop in at your job to “visit”. And, hopefully, they would not call every time the channel got changed while they were “hey…watching that!” or every time they couldn’t find that pink shirt with the green stripes. If explaining doesn’t work, come up with a signal system. I use a “Do Not Disturb” hanging sign that I got from a hotel. And I do NOT acknowledge knocks, throat-clearing, or crocodile tears.

Finally, I would be remiss in advising those new to earn from home if I left out a warning: if it says “earn from home” or “work at home” or any variation of generalities such as these, watch that it is not a scam. As one smart person on a homeworking forum board says, employers are not soliciting for people who work at home in general. They have a specific job they need done and are seeking a specific person with compatible skillsets. If an ad is too general, it may be one which will lead you to a “job” that never materializes but instead requires you send money, invest money, or share. No job sould require money up front. You are looking to earn it from them not spend it on them.


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