Working from home is a prospect that many people spend years trying to achieve. Although the allure of being your own boss and setting hours is ideal for many, there are several aspects of working from home that are not considered by most of these individuals. For instance, going to the bathroom is unpaid time without an hourly wage of a full time job. Every moment you’re not actually working for a client is unpaid time. It is imperative that you set goals to help motivate yourself to keep working.
What Kind of Goals Do You Need in Order to Succeed?
Regardless whether you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, or online office clerk, you need to set goals that need to be achieved in order to be successful. While some people may be able to maintain an incredible career working from home without goals, many of us need that visual reminder. What are examples of goals that you could set throughout your day?
- Setting up a base dollar amount
- Create a work schedule
- Set goals for physical activity
- Realize the power of spreadsheets
- Productivity goals
Setting up a Base Dollar Amount
Write down all of the bills that need to be paid throughout the month. These are absolutes that have to be paid in order to survive in the home such as rent, utilities, Internet, food, etc. Now, total all of the bills together; this is what you need each month. Subtract the income that your spouse, roommate, or significant other brings into the home. This will give you a subtotal of what you need to bring in. Divide this number by 20. This is the amount that you need to bring in each day in order to maintain the household. Why 20? On average, there is 20 regular work days within any given month. If you want to work every day, then you can divide the amount by 30. Personally, I like to have my weekends free – but I still write occasionally in order to make a bit of extra money.
Using this dollar amount, try to surpass what is needed each day. As long as you meet your goal, then you can sustain the home. However, surpassing the goal will give you a bit of extra money for other fun stuff.
Creating a Work Schedule
Yes, working from home allows you to do tasks according to your own pace. However, you need to have some kind of professionalism when working with clients. Develop a schedule that works well with you that you can adhere to each day. Personally, I use Outlook for my scheduling. I’m sure there are other methods, but it works perfect for me, so why switch?
Set Goals for Physical Activity
If you’re a freelance writer, web designer, or other freelancer that sits at his or her desk for extended periods of time, you need to set goals for physical activity. Over time, you could become lethargic and overweight if you are not mindful of the impact that a lack of movement can have on your body. Myself, I use the app “RunKeeper.” It uses your GPS location to track your movement and uses estimations to determine how many calories you have burned. It can also display your results on your Facebook page providing motivation in order to avoid embarrassment.
Realize the Power of Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are great at collecting data. You can also set them up to display a progression chart to give you a visual of your progress. I have an elaborate Excel worksheet that I use for tracking time spent writing, the amount of pay per order and the number of words. Each day, I try to surpass my averages for the year which puts me on a path of continuous improvement – and it doesn’t set myself up for failure.
If you work at home in a productivity sense, you can set goals to surpass those numbers. For instance, one of my goals is to surpass that number of words I type for clients each day. While I do care about the amount of money I make, this keeps my productivity as a professional in perspective. The more words I deliver to clients, the more professional my appearance.
Many people think that goals are bad. If you set them too high, of course they can be disheartening. Setting yourself up for failure can be detrimental to your mental state as it could make you feel like a failure. Set goals that are easier to achieve. Even if you set a low point for your income or productivity, you can begin building on that by trying to surpass it each day. Don’t shoot for the stars right off the bat. Start small and realize your own potential before considering larger objectives.