The MBB Essential Guide to Working at Home

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Work. It can be a real bummer unless you are living the exciting dream life of a parachuting photographer, alpine climber or a rock star. And then, you find your little niche as a freelancer. Writer, artist, designer, coder, whatever you do, you do it best at your home office. And the best benefit – unending coffee in your cozy PJs if that’s your heart’s desire.So what does it take to work from home successfully? It takes patience, perseverance, and personal dedication. It also needs some boundaries, I mean, you could sit at your desk drawing eyeballs and trees for hours and accomplish zero towards your goal. Besides having your workspace organized and motivating, there are a few essential things you will need. And yes, of course, I’m going to tell you.

The very first thing you will need, after caffeinating of course, is a good sense of humor. Honestly, there is research (mostly through surveys) that humor can be an integral key to success. Well placed humor in client interaction can boost your business. You know the saying, all work and no play…well, it is undoubtedly true for those of us working out the house or coffee shop.

Secondly – you need extra chargers. Charging cables have been multiplying in my house at the speed of light. It can be frustrating when your laptop or phone is on 3% battery life, and you are running up and down and out to the car for a charging cable. MBB tip: buy an extra or two.

Next, let’s discuss your schedule. Working for yourself has both pros and cons. Are you an early bird or a night owl? What about client interactions? You need to plan your day (or night) to optimize your workload. Last year, one of my Perfect Brew authors left us a post on how to manage your time. It’s perfect for procrastinators. I love using colored post-it notes to block out and prioritize my work time and personal time. I love this method because as I complete a task I remove the note, or shift them to re-prioritize. Of course, I also use calendars on my computer, iPad and phone and an old-school day journal. I still make mistakes, but not as often.

You will also need support. Good help is hard to find, and the “right” help is even more difficult. I am lucky to have a great support system for my personal life (thanks, mom) and an excellent techie (thanks, hubby) to help me with coding, set-up and things that are out of my realm of understanding. I am a writer for goodness sake.

Google. Yes, you need Google. Docs, Calendar, Photos, Google Drive… it’s essential. Research, writing, submissions, even accounting and all that jazz.

Last but never least, you need the “right” space. Working from home can present many options. I prefer to sit in the kitchen in the mornings – it’s closest to the coffee. However, there are times when I need to be outside in the fresh air, or on the sofa or at a coffee shop. Like I said, options. The flexibility is endless. Find your perfect space and get busy.

So how do I add excitement to my stressful job? And yes, there is stress is freelance work – we all have bills to pay and mouths to feed; I use options. Working at my prime time hours, in a comfortable, organized space with a stack of post-its and my purple pen, I can conquer the world. Or at least a corner.

Stay organized, motivated and caffeinated!😊☕

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