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Being self-employed is a dream for many people, but it isn’t as easy — or as casual — as it seems from the outside. Being your own boss requires a considerable deal of discipline and self-motivation. When you’re in charge of how much money you make, you quickly discover the importance of staying motivated when you’re self-employed.
Create Specific Office Hours
Your job is a real job. It’s no less authentic because you do your work at home. However, while you should enjoy the luxury of setting your own hours and working anytime you like, you do need to set your hours. While you may have no interest in the traditional office job, you should still set specific work hours. If you find that you’re more productive after 10 a.m., begin your day at that time.
You don’t have to work for eight straight hours either. Build-in breaks for lunch, stretching, and snacks. Follow some type of schedule that has a starting point and a finishing time.
Personally, I work 4 hours straight in the morning but the afternoon is done session wise. I might work for an hour and then do housework for thirty minutes depending on my schedule for the day.
During working hours, don’t do anything else. Don’t answer emails or texts, don’t focus on housework or cooking, and don’t get distracted. This method works for self-employed professionals who have trouble concentrating. All you have to do is create blocks of time that are one or two hours long so that you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Block Your Distractions
Do you ever get lost on social media in the middle of a project? Falling into a hole isn’t uncommon among the self-employed — or the traditionally employed, for that matter.
Don’t have tempting tabs open during your work hours. Sometimes I come across interesting content that I just have to read. It takes up time but it is so hard to pass upon. Bookmarking helps loads!
If you can’t resist, download an extension that blocks time-draining websites for specific spans of time. Apps on your phone can do the same, although you should set your phone on silent or “do not disturb” mode and leave it alone while you work.
Design a Dedicated Space
People have a misconception about those who are self-employed. Too many folks assume that self-employment involves working on the laptop in front of the TV. While that setup works for some freelancers, it doesn’t work for all of them. Sitting on a couch all day leads to back and hip pains – trust me!
You can easily self-motivate yourself when you have a space dedicated to the work you do. That arrangement may involve a spare room with a desk and a computer, a workroom where you can build or paint furniture, or a space to give presentations and stage product demonstrations.
Recently, I added office space to my guest room. I can’t wait to decorate it!
Set Accomplishable Goals
Working from home comes with a separate set of responsibilities that you have to weave into your professional duties. That’s why motivation sometimes fails — you’re overwhelmed.
The best way to solve the problem is to set realistic, attainable goals for yourself. Make them bite-sized so that you don’t chomp off more than you can chew.
If you’re a writer, then give yourself the goal of finishing four articles by noon. Web designers can go line by line of code or page by page. Whatever you do, don’t pile on the tasks because you think you have something to prove.
Be Accountable to Something Else
You can work for yourself while technically working for someone else. Freelance writers join writer groups and companies that provide them with jobs, but the writers are still in charge of how much they work and when. Regardless of what you do, you can find dozens of ways to remain self-employed even as you contract to work for someone else.
Are you a makeup maven? Then you could consider being your own boss with Amway, a company that allows you to sell beauty and health products on your own time. You essentially have the opportunity to become an entrepreneur in your own right, and many businesses offer the same opportunity. The benefit is that you’re accountable to someone else, which motivates you further.
Have you ever considered striking out on your own as your own boss? You can undoubtedly find a self-employment opportunity that’s tailored perfectly to your skills.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.