How To Stay Focused When Working From Home

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working from homeThirty three years ago, I started my full-time career.

I was studying for a Computer Science degree and I got bored!

I dropped out.

I decided to leave.

I wanted to earn some money.

I gave up the degree course.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew I didn’t want to go to college anymore.

I visited the job centre for a few days.

There was a job in the banking area of London. Right in the city of London. The job was for a Pensions Clerk.

£3,600 annual salary plus free lunches. That’s equivalent to £9,000 in today’s world if we use 3% inflation – that is less than the minimum wage!

But I was happy and I got free lunches. I was offered the job.

I took it.

I also had a couple of little part-time jobs at weekends and evenings collecting football pools money and valeting cars.

I certainly wasn’t afraid of working hard. I enjoyed the extra money.

My Salary Went Up By Ten-Fold

Within a few months I joined the IT department of the same London company and my salary doubled overnight.

I moved around a few companies and ended up having a great career in IT.

I was Head of IT for a large world wide corporate company. A great salary, company car, bonuses, health care, private pension, free shares.

I don’t want to mention the company I worked for but, for me, they were great. I put in long hours working for them and they treated me really well.

Then there was a lot of downsizing and redundancies / layoffs. I survived many times.

But I knew one day my name would be on the list and I wanted something to ‘keep me going’ if I were ever made redundant.

So eight years ago, I started my own on-line business while working full time. I continued to work long hours for the company I was working for and evenings and weekends on my own on-line business.

NO MONTHLY SALARY!

For 28 years, I worked for a company…for someone else.

Then five years ago, I had the option to take voluntary redundancy.

I took it and suddenly I was working for myself.

No boss. No objectives. No staff to manage. NO MONTHLY SALARY!

That’s pretty scary.

I’m now on my own.

I make all the decisions.

I decide when to work and what to work on.

Nowadays, I have 4 major activities that I perform most working days:

1.    Content creation – blog posts, videos, new products, tweaking my own website

2.    Marketing – blog commenting, affiliate marketing, social bookmarking, social media…

3.    Clients – working and mentoring with my clients on their websites / small businesses

4.    Learning – reading other blog posts, buying new courses…keeping up to date on the latest trends

Now my day looks like this:

6am. Most days, I go to the gym.

8am. Then home from the gym, I have breakfast with my wife.

8.30am Then it’s off to work…it takes me 15 seconds to get to work. I just walk from the kitchen to the home office.

Turn on the pc and while it is booting up, I just check what I have planned to do today on my activity list.

Then I check my emails and respond to any that need responding to.

Check my direct tweets and Facebook messages and reply to any that need replying to.

Check my blog comments and reply to any that need a reply.

That takes, on average, an hour.

9.30am Then I look at my plan to see what I have planned for the day.

I have a weekly plan and the weekly plan is broken down into daily tasks based upon the 4 activities I mention above.

Each daily task is broken down into 60-minute chunks.

And at the end of each week, I plan out the next week’s daily plan and activities.

By having a daily plan and planning ahead, it helps me focus.

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Back to work

18.00 Dinner

18.30 Back to work

19.00 onwards (depends upon how much work I have to do)…my time!

Would I ever go back to the corporate world?

NO!

I love the freedom. I love the ‘working from home’ lifestyle.

Have you made the transition from 9-5 to working for yourself from home?

What focuses you?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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77 Responses to How To Stay Focused When Working From Home

  1. sivani May 20, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Superb planning .I’m also the full time planner , it is really hard to focus on blogging as full time, My concentration will always disturbed. Your schedules helps me a lot to prepare the complete planner. Thanks for sharing this tips andrew!!

  2. Abdul Kabir Khan June 2, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Staying focused is really important in order to write quality content. If you are a blogger, brainstorming is recommended.

  3. Sagar
    Twitter:
    June 25, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    Nice and very informative post

    Working from home has many advantages as well as disadvantages. The one main thing is that you will not have a boss. You will be your own boss. The whole work will be scheduled or planned by you. I really love the way you have planned your work. mostly when we are running a website or working on a project there are always things which should be done daily, some twice a week and some weekly once.

    And in between it is also important to spend time with family. As they are also important in life. But many fail to manage all things. It all depends upon the priorities an individual possess .

    I can actually dependably be living up to expectations, in light of the fact that there is continually something that is possible. Whether its another post, reacting to messages or more social networking. Additionally having all my tech associated with my moment warnings truly implies I can work constantly.

    On the positive side what I cherish the most about being my supervisor to swapping days without needing to ask. It is great feature work from home provides.

    Great post and thank you for sharing.
    Sagar recently posted..How the Science of Human Emotion works in MarketingMy Profile

  4. Tommy Landry August 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I made the transition to working from home full time back in mid-2012 after planning it out over several years. I must say, it’s been the right move from me since Day One!

    It does take a great deal of discipline to stay focused, and also a willingness to forget about “office hours” in the traditional sense. I can skip a whole morning to deal with family matters and make it up whenever I like, nights, weekends, holidays, all up to me.

    And you’re spot on about one big thing – financial upside! A salary guarantees you don’t have downside so long as you aren’t fired or laid off, but it also guarantees you won’t have upside (maybe a bonus, but that’s only up to a certain percentage in most cases).

    Working for myself, my income is only limited by how hard I’m willing to bust my hump to make it happen. As I get better and better at outsourcing via contract labor, the upside keeps moving higher. Very happy with the decision.

    Cheers,
    Tommy

    • Andrew from SEO Advice
      Twitter:
      September 2, 2014 at 4:48 am #

      Tommy

      It sounds like you have made the the right decision.

      I also love the flexibility of when I work. Sometimes mornings, sometimes afternoons, sometimes evenings and sometimes all 3!

      (And of course, sometimes none of them!)

      Andrew

  5. Zubair August 30, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    For my case, i just cant let me leave this lifestyle of working from home because i am not bound to anyone called boss. I am the boss o myself. I can do what i like and plan to do and i can work when ever i want to or i have a time. I can manage my own schedule and can make changes on my own will. That is the best type of lifestyle that every one in this world wants to live. I am sure of it 🙂

  6. jamshad September 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    I can manage my own schedule and can make changes on my own will. That is the best type of lifestyle that every one in this world wants to live. I am sure of it. nice to you

  7. Peter October 23, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Andrew !

    I like the thought of working on your own schedule and being free to do whatever you like whenever you like but the thing with that for me is that I’ll get lazy and most likely waste many days doing absolutely nothing.

    Whenever I have work to do at home, I normally end up doing it the next day at work or spend more time than needed which is quite terrible.

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