I am lucky enough to have a dedicated space in my house for a home office and it has been the headquarters of EileenLonergan.com for the past four years. Twice last week I was asked how I could detach myself from the “house duties” to sit in my office. I never feel the irresistible pull of my laundry room, but I do have some strategies for working from home which I thought may be interesting to share.
1. I have a routine that is imposed upon me because I have a family. When I get them out the door I spend a few minutes “tidying” and then I get to my desk. I very rarely break from this because a quick trip to the grocery store inevitably turns into a half day of work lost. It is rare that I am not at my desk before 9am.
2. The first thing I do when I get to my desk is think about the clients I don’t yet have. I don’t answer email, read Facebook or check Twitter until I have made some sort of contact with a potential piece of new business. What this could look like:
- Send a pitch to someone who has requested a proposal
- Send an email to someone that is in my “sales funnel” to check in
- Write a post for my blog
- Try to solve a problem or help someone in one of my professional LinkedIn or Facebook groups
- Comment on a blog post (always comment with some way of moving the post forward, I am not one to get into a debate with someone via the comments section of their blog).
3. Have a network of online colleagues. I am a member of the Expand2Web Experts group and one of the benefits is a closed Facebook group. The conversations are professional and on target and it provides me with a digital water cooler. I can see what other people are creating for their clients, new tools they have found or industry changes and how they are responding. Ultimately is a huge time saver to ask one of the fellow Experts for professional | technical advice and it really solves the problem of frustration or feeling alone in your business.
4. Without a doubt there are days when I miss being part of a team. I make it a point to put myself on the team of my clients. I am their digital marketing department, I celebrate their success and take great pride in their accomplishments!
5. I celebrate my solo operation. I recently trained for and completed a half marathon, using lunchtime breaks to run with my hound Rusty by my side! I actually solved a lot of creative problems while taking those breaks (and I think Rust-o dropped a few lbs). One of my children was recently studying Nepal at school and her teacher sent me an email, could I come speak with the children, that afternoon, about my time there? No problem.
- Note: I have a little desk and chair in my office where my youngest can do her school work.
6. My least favorite job (accounting) is done on the first Sunday of every month. I pick a Sunday because it is a day when I really don’t want to work, so I just sit down and get to it so I can get back to my family. If I don’t do it, I don’t get paid, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a job, right?
I LOVE my business. I am addicted to new developments in web design and digital marketing. I love watching companies like Google, Facebook and Expand2Web evolve and seeing how those changes shift the behavior of society. This fascination can’t compete with my dirty socks.
I know some people who have their offices at home make it a point to shower and put on a nice outfit, others go out for their morning coffee or meet friends during the week for lunch.
What are your strategies?
Eileen Lonergan is a WordPress website designer who has a concentration in SEO. To learn more about Eileen and see her work visit her website: http://www.EileenLonergan.com
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