Managing Your Workload while Working from Home

working from home productivity
After creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by maurcs

Working from home sounds like a dream come true for many people.  Maybe they imagine waking up late, wearing pajamas all day and snacking at will.  Maybe they conveniently eliminate deadlines, stress and financial concerns from their imagined life working from home.  In reality, yes, there are some perks, but there are also some downsides.  One of the downsides is that as your own boss when you’re working from home, only you can and must manage your workload. 

Say “No” When You Need To

Working as a freelance writer from home can be stressful as you’re not sure where your paycheck will come from each month.  Although you may get some steady clients, it may not always be easy to tell if you’re going to make ends meet each month.  And even when you are making ends meet, it can be tempting to watch your monthly income increase and increase.  The trouble is, is that as you increase your income, so will your workload.  More is not always better.

When considering new projects and offers, remember the reasons that you decided to work at home in the first place.  Whether it was to manage more of your time, liberate yourself from a cubicle or to spend more time with your family, there was likely a reason.  Are you compromising it by saying yes, yes, yes to more and more work?  Will it mean you’re up late moonlighting instead of enjoying life?  While it may be acceptable to work late for a week to add a special project to your list, be sure that this doesn’t become the norm. When it does, you’re saying “yes” too often.

Use A Schedule and Stick to It

One helpful way to ensure that you are managing your workload is to use a working schedule.  Once you start to drift out of your desired working hours, you’ll need to stop accepting new clients and projects for a time.  Remember that your life may be flexible, but some structure can help make sure you meet both your professional and personal goals. For more ideas on structuring your time and life while working from home, check out this post.

Value Yourself Highly

The beauty of working for yourself as a freelance writer or other home-based professional is that the better you get and the more established you are, the pickier you can be about clients.  Remember, once you’ve established your reputation and are able to take on clients, you also have the ability to say no to those that aren’t able to pay enough for don’t provide work you’re interested in.

While working from home can be a dream come true, it will take maintenance on your part to make sure it stays that way.  It can easily become overbearing and tiring as you toil away to meet your clients’ deadlines and requests.  This is why it’s important to be picky about your clients and stick to your working hours.  Remember, you are the only one who gets to decide your workload when working from home.  Either you drive the workload, or it will drive you.

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