When you think about working from home do you envision a solid list of clients, an organized desk and a clutter-free house? Or maybe your vision is creating great content and traveling often.
I’m sharing 10 work from home mistakes not to make to help you succeed as a solopreneur. Because the reality is working at home and being your own boss takes focus and the ability to self-motivate.
It takes conscious planning to manage the freedom and flexibility that comes with working from home.
If you aren’t careful you can get to the end of the day having accomplished nothing. The work you need to do won’t be done and the pile of laundry will still be there waiting to be folded.
You might also like: The Work from Home Starter Kit
10 Work from Home Mistakes Not to Make
Do not make the mistake of turning on Netflix! There’s nothing like a self-induced Netflix marathon to de-rail a productive day.
And running a close second to Netflix the Hallmark Channel. Don’t turn it on in during daylight hours! A marathon Hallmark Channel Christmas movies equals a lost day of work!
To be productive working from home it’s important to have a functioning home office space. A dedicated space for business files, a printer/scanner/copier that works reliably and a productive space to do your work from.
Create a work space a home with reliable tools provides a professional atmosphere to work from. It will help you focus and signal to anyone else at home that you are working.
- Create an Affordable Ergonomic Home Office
- How to Decorate a Small Home Office on a Budget
- Practical Home Office Tech Gift Ideas
A HUGE MISTAKE I learned the hard way was not having a professional looking video conference call backdrop. I was invited to a last minute client video conference call and had to scramble to create a professional looking location in my home.
You can solve this by putting simple artwork on the wall above one of the chairs at your dining room table.
Or try sitting in your bedroom on a dining room a chair, with your laptop on a small folding table in front of you and a plain wall, or simple artwork behind you.
No one will ever know it’s your bedroom if all they can see behind you is the wall with some inexpensive simple prints downloaded from Etsy or made by you for FREE on Canva.
Not creating a personalized daily routine. A routine gives work from home solopreneurs structure to the day. And the good news is a routine can still have room for flexibility. (just not for Netflix during your productive hours!)
For me, the morning is my most productive work time. I use the morning to complete important tasks with limited interruptions. Sometimes I do this at a coffee shop, from my sofa or from my desk if I really need to concentrate.
I schedule calls and conference calls for the afternoon whenever possible and try to keep the mornings as my focused work time.
I also use the afternoons for last-minute to-dos, follow up work that comes out of that day’s calls and catching up on less time sensitive items (like folding laundry & loading the dishwasher!)
Your productive time might be different then mine but I encourage you to find a routine that lets you get your work done so you can enjoy the awesome freedom that comes with working from home.
Your friends are going to love that you are home with what they think is free time all day.
If you take all of their calls you won’t have time to get your work done. Set aside time in your schedule to keep up with your friends the same as you would your co-workers.
A 3:00 pm snack break is a great time return your friends calls!
It’s easy to eat your way through the pantry when you work from home. Snacks and the random goodies you bought because they were BOGO aren’t a balanced meal.
Make good food choices during the day so you don’t have to buy larger yoga pants.
On that note, PJ’s are meant for bed. Get dressed every day in clean clothes that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in the neighborhood coffee shop.
I know this takes the fun out of working from home but putting your adult clothes on every day will positively impact the level of professionalism you bring to your work.
Keep up with your bookkeeping. I am not at all the worlds best bookkeeper. I use a catch-all system to make sure I have the backup materials needed to at least once a month catch-up on my bookkeeping.
A huge mistake is letting your bookkeeping get away from you. You can read more about my system and love of Freshbooks here.
And the number one mistake not to make when you work from home, find an accountant.
Don’t mess with Uncle Sam and the IRS! Need I say more?
If you aren’t sure how to find an accountant or need a little extra push check out my post How to Find an Accountant When You Are Self-Employed (with a free downloadable workbook). The workbook is also available in my free resource library.
The freedom and flexibility that comes with working from home is amazing. It’is worth the extra effort to avoid work from home mistakes that others have made.
Don’t turn on Netflix, create a routine and call your friends back after you’ve gotten your must do’s done!
What are the biggest work from home mistakes you’ve made?