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If You Want to Work from Home

Here are some important points to take note of if you want to work from home. working from home is a dream occupation for many people, but only a few of us will dare to trudge that path. As long as you keep to your basic principles, keep focused, learn how to motivate yourself, be patient and learn how to manage your time properly, you CAN have the best of both worlds.

Set your working hours
No doubt, you're working from home but consider this ? your TV remote control is just a stretch away. The temptation to just hop into your car and go shopping can be overwhelming. So, discipline yourself. When you work is not important, it's keeping to the schedule that is. You want to let your clients know when they can expect to see you online or catch you on Instant Messenger. If they know your working hours, they will know when to expect a reply to their email message. You can shape your working schedule according to your needs. If you need to send your kids off to music class or tuition at 10.30a.m., make sure you check your email or do some work before then. Working from home means you have the flexibility of molding your working hours according to your family's needs.

Office space
Having an office space where there are no crayons and no toys strewn about is important to the working environment of your business. Working from home means that you have to set your office up either in a small corner of the bedroom, setup a special home office in a special room, or you can set your office up in a small corner in the living room. Help your kids understand that whenever you're working, you are not to be disturbed. The documents and equipment in the home office area is not to be drawn on, spilt on, torn, removed or damaged.

Be serious about your work
Whenever you're working, you should be serious about work. You can do the following to help you work more effectively:

1. Work or do the most important things whenever your kids are off somewhere else ? like kindergarten, tuition, music school or visiting a cousin.

2. Setup a special table or space where your kids do their homework whenever you're working.

3. Get someone to mind the kids while you're working during your working hours

4. Work when the kids are taking a nap

5. Spend a lot of time with your kids and whenever you're having family time, ignore business phone calls or office matters.

6. When you are working, tell your kids to get help from someone else

Use an organizer
For someone who is working from home, the line between 'work' and 'family' is blurred. Therefore, it's important for us to learn how to schedule our work and use an organizer properly. This will help us meet deadlines, set priorities and remember important tasks. You can use a normal scrapbook, a journal, an exercise book, a small notepad (the 555 kind, even), use your Outlook program, use an Excel file, use a Microsoft Word document?whatever works for you! The point is that you need to use it consistently, refer to it, update it and add new tasks to it.

Don't check your email all the time
Yes, you need to check your email regularly but when you check your email too often or keep your inbox open all the time, you'll get distracted with new tasks and neglect the earlier ones. This way, you will get more and more backlogs and in the end, some of the older projects will take longer to finish. Check your email often at the same time everyday, but not all the time.

Don't work all the time
Those without discipline will work only when they feel like it and when they don't, they'll do something else. This kind of attitude towards work is not advisable. But on the other hand, workaholics should also learn how to let work go whenever the time comes. If you feel stressed out, maybe that's because you've been working too much because your work is right there in your house. You'll never get far enough away from your work. So, learn to switch your computer off and let go!! Just go spend some time with the neglected spouse and kids.

Conclusion
These are just a few of the important points about working from home and I have just managed to skim the surface of the whole issue. I will explore other aspects of working from home in anot

Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from her home in Selangor, Malaysia. She loves nothing more than blowing bubbles in the park with her 2 kids, Joshua and Jared. She designs apparel and premium items at http://www.creativejooz.com and is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at http://www.marshamaung.com

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