by Staff Reporter on 29/11/11 at 11:24 am
So, you’re a trailblazing entrepreneur who works from home, deftly selling your talents to grateful clients who are only too lucky to have you as their remote project coordinator? For many South African professionals this is the dream, working from home, being your own boss, scheduling your own hours.
And unless you’re dead-set on completing that for your medical assistant certification or crunching numbers at a Johannesburg marketing agency, it’s very likely you can position yourself for this dream. However, just because you are your own boss and make your own hours, doesn’t mean you can go about your job in an undisciplined, careless way. Here are a few ways to better secure a consummate work-from-home career:
Tip #1: Shut off all other sources of information other than what you’re working on.
Yes, this means IM, social media, cell phone, and the effects visualizer. If you’re going to get some solid work done, you can’t be logging into Twitter and Facebook every five seconds and you can’t chit chat with your friends. If you absolutely need to have your email and social media accounts open, make sure to ‘hide’ your account on Gmail and Facebook, so that bored, corporate friends can’t ask you if you caught the game last weekend. If you’re truly “working” from home, you’ve got to treat the home like an office. Would you spending 3 hours on Twitter at the office? Okay, bad question, but you get the point.
Tip #2: Invest in a lightning quick Internet.
Assuming you will need the Internet, which is a pretty good assumption, you will need a flawless broadband connection and preferably cloud computing for both speed and efficiency of file storage. Nothing destroys a potentially productive day more rapidly than a sluggish Internet or a system outage zapping some crucial files. Synchronize your data in a cloud and optimize your speeds. Your clients and stress levels will both thank you.
Tip #3: Minimize clutter.
In addition to reducing your mental distraction, you also want to cut down on physical distractions. This means doing away with sticky notes, papers, calendars and wires. Go paperless with cloud computing and digital calendars and go wireless with a printer or scanner that is Wi-Fi enabled. What you look at day in and day out influences your output. A clean, organized home office will lead to a clean, organized work ethic.
These 3 strategies aren’t sure-fire ways to be successful working from home (nothing is), but they should put you on the right track. Devotion and hard work will do the rest. A freelancer should be prepared to disconnect from sources of distraction and utilize time and space efficiently.
Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.