Working from home is everyone’s dream. But quickly after you score that winning job, you realize that it can also be your worst nightmare.
You see, when you work from home, it’s like you’re your own boss. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or remote employee. You are the one who is in control over your time. This can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your willpower.
Here are five reasons why you need to master willpower when working remotely:
1. You have more temptations
When you’re working remotely, you will always have more temptations than when you work in an office with coworkers. This is true whether you work from home, at a coworking facility or in a café.
Temptations at home – If you don’t have strong willpower, home is probably the worst place you can work. Not only will you likely be alone, but you’ll be surrounded by all your normal comforts and chores. You don’t have to look far to find a distraction when you’re working from home. There’s probably a television in your line of sight at all times, and your mind is fixed on that pile of laundry that needs to be folded. If you have a hard time telling when it’s 5 o’clock and time to start relaxing with a stiff drink, willpower is key to keeping you in check. If you still feel overwhelmed, it may be time to find a different work location
Temptations at the coffee shop – If you’re in the habit of working at your local Starbucks, you know how easy it is to get distracted by the conversations around you. Conversations like, “Wow, that conversation is awkward. Must be a first date “, or “that sounds like a terrible business plan. I want to tell that guy not to invest.” At a coffee shop, you risk getting caught up in the social events that are happening while you should be working.
Temptations at a coworking space –Working at a coworking space is the closest remote-working location to a company office. Here, you’ll be surrounded by other people who are also working. Much like in the office, you’ll be distracted by the gourmet coffee machine, the view from the window and the people around you. The one ingredient that makes coworking spaces potentially more distracting is the number of new faces. You’ll always be surrounded by new people. This is great for some people and a distraction for others.
How to combat distractions – You have to be tough with yourself when fighting distractions. If you’re working from home, maybe you go and sit outside or in a home office. Don’t let yourself leave that space until you’ve finished a certain amount of work. If you’re working at a café, try to choose the quietest spot in the room. And if you’re at a coworking space, resist the urge to be social. Try pretending that your boss or client is watching and evaluating your performance.
2. Procrastination is a major issue
Working remotely is a lot like being your own boss in that you often get to make your own schedule. Again, this could be great, or it could be your downfall. It all depends on your willpower. If you know you have a problem with procrastination, make it a habit to get your work done first. If you leave all your work until the last minute, you risk missing deadlines and losing your job.
If you have a history of procrastinating, you need to be firm with yourself. Set goals for each day that must be accomplished before anything else.
3. You may get lonely
When you work remotely, you don’t have any coworkers. Sometimes, this is one of the main benefits of remote working. And sometimes, it can get too lonely. When you’re feeling lonely, try working from a café or coworking space, but remember that work time is not social time. You need your willpower to effectively separate the two.
The simple act of being around people while you work should be enough to help you get through the loneliness. And if you’re having trouble, you can always find help online. You may even be able to find a remote worker’s meetup that you can join to feel more social. If you live in a rural area, look for an online group of remote workers where you can share stories and maybe even chat from time-to-time. Just be sure to keep all that to a minimum, or you’ll defeat its purpose.
4. You’re the major troubleshooter
Whatever kind of problem you’re having, you’ll usually need to figure it out for yourself. Remote employees often have access to helpdesks and other support, but outside of that, it’s all up to you. And when you have problems that take some time to solve, this can leave you working overtime. This is when willpower is most important. You’ll need to remain calm, fix problems and still meet your deadlines. There’s no time for procrastination here.
5. The internet is distracting
You can always turn off the television or go into another room to get away from outside distractions. But what about the major distraction that’s built into your work machine? You may even need the internet to perform your job. In this case, it’s even easier to slip into another website or a private email when you should be working.
Fortunately, there are a few apps that can help you manage your time online. You may even be able to blocks some of the more distracting websites like Facebook or Instagram. Just don’t count on apps to do all the heavy lifting.
It’s still up to you to set the parameters and keep the apps turned on while you’re working. And if you’re in the business of social media, you’re completely on your own. It’s up to your own willpower to keep all of your activities work related.
In many ways, working from home is a blessing. It affords us a little extra flexibility to fit our non-work lives into the day. This can be priceless. Just be sure you’re practicing willpower and managing our time wisely.
Do you work remotely? How do you handle things like procrastination and will power?