I would bring my 2 cent worth of idea in here... I have been in business
for many years (started in 68, haven't stopped yet) and in many
different configurations... home office, shop, service bureau, small
office, larger office, small factory and today back at home where they
are 8 of us working here full time. Due to lack of space we are moving
out of here soon...again...
I am at
this moment in my bathrobe, doing email, my wife just got in the shower,
the coffee smells nice and it is already beautifully sunny outside... it
is a lovely Saturday morning in Australia... I love life...
us, and not the larger majority, are disciplined enough to work from
home, however, the temptations are numerous enough to drag a few back in
bad habits and they will end up returning to the normal workforce, back
in the office...
it so? I have observed many of my friends and colleagues trying to start
a home office and the first few months were always great, new life
style, more freedom etc... and then bad habits creep in... people start
getting up later or stay in their bathrobe longer and passed normal
office hours, they are still in their pyjama and bit by bit they start
working later and later...
of the day also arrives sooner when some will allow themselves to play a
game on their computer and then try to finish it late in the evening...
sometimes in the night... which does not help with the bad habit
creeping in the next day... or the internet browsing... so many pages of
interesting stuff to read... or complain about their uselessness... and
still no efficient work being done... and then lack of money will bring
them back into traditional workforce.
alone at home is extremely difficult, let's face it. It requires a
strong mental attitude that not many people have, without at the same
time providing any of the stimulations that you get in a normal work
environment and without any of the discipline imposed on you by
colleagues or supervisors...
cut a long story short, I would like to give some ideas to people who
are tempted to run their office from home. This is what works for me and
this is what I observed that prevented others from being successful and
forced them to return to the "normal" office life...
Have your objective in mind. Know what you want and how you will get
it... and visualise what will happen to you once you have it... remember
to include everything in your picture (Family, Friends, Work environment
Get up early, shower and wear normal clothes ASAP unless you get to
do some physical activity first. (stretching works miracles on me). I
noticed that staying in evening clothes like a bathrobe stops me from
getting my adrenalin to flow...
Plan your day before you start to work or before reading your email...
If you don't, you will end up eating a long part of your golden hours,
when you are most efficient, in activities that do not require high
energy and you won't have enough stamina to attack the big ones (that
you hate doing) later...
Do the hard stuff first, if possible way before other people
(colleagues) or visitors come... or it will be impossible to finish
Avoid temptations like TV, chatting, web browsing until you want to rest
from the tough work you just finished.
Remove any game from your computer, you already spend enough time on it!
if you want to relax do something else like walking or visiting friends
or whatever... It is better to avoid mixing entertainment and work at
the same place or using the same tools!
creeps back in too quickly preventing you from doing work when needed
(in NLP we call this spatial anchors, like a smell or music can bring
you instantly in a situation that you lived many years ago and the
memory be extremely vivid, seeing your screen and sitting in your chair
will bring you back in your last stimulating game session and it will be
a strong pull to play again ... hard to resist)
remove chat, ICQ and other distracting toys unless they are needed for
your work. If you need them, reserve them on another workstation or
limit the hours you allow them to kick in... Leave them off when you
produce your hard stuff and do not want to be distracted
set yourself a program and objectives with milestones you can measure
and DO MEASURE them. And if you are not on target, review why and ask
some friends who are removed from the situation for their opinion...and
listen... Someone told me one day that: It gets really bad when people
start believing their own bullshit... Today I still find situation
where this apply that I did not realise before, this idea is really deep
time aside to read business and self development books and apply their
teaching... as Steven Covey says in the 7 habits of highly successful
people, sharpen your saw...
I started in 68, at 16yrs old, with my
cousin. We opened a home office selling insurance door to door and doing
accounting for small shops. We were both at school and carried this
business through to university.
At 25 I
opened one of the first computer shops in Belgium, worked for Apple in
Paris in 81 as central Europe Sales manager, then similar position in
Geneva for Digital in 85 and started my own company in 87 in the south
of France with another home office that grew into a 50 people business
that I sold in 97. I also ran one of the largest ultra light
manufacturing company in France,selling over 650 planes worldwide.
trained in NLP with Bandler's group (NLP comprehensive,
practitioner level) and then Dilts (Master).
everything and retired in 98, lived in Japan and went to school and
learned to speak Japanese, and then got sucked into business again in
2000 and I started from home a small company selling internet security
solution... and this is now growing nicely... I live now in Sydney
Australia, have 2 sons and we are expecting a daughter in January...