From the desk of Victor Pride
Subj: How to kick butt from home
“Wow, you’re so lucky“.
That’s what I always hear when I tell people I work from home.
As if it was random luck that did all the work for me.
I wear the same 7 cotton blended XL t-shirts every week. It’s not luck that puts the t-shirts on my back. I went out to the store and bought the damn things and I put them on in the morning. It was a decision I made. The shirts are nice and comfortable and stylish so I wear them. If I didn’t like them I would stop wearing them.
I never liked working in an office, so what did I do? I stopped working in one.
I made the decision to work from home. Luck never came into the picture. I took the necessary steps and got it done.
I’ve been working from home for 6 years and I’ve faced all the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the slumps and boons and I’m going to give you a bunch of tips and tricks to maximize your work time.
Today we will talk about how to get into that working groove and get all your business accomplished.
Getting in the mood to work is all a mindset. All you have to do is change your mindset a little and you can go from working sporadically, here and there, and getting little accomplished, to working like a pro and getting everything accomplished.
1) Be a pro
Just because you work from home, with nobody looking over your shoulder, doesn’t mean you need to goof off. Entrepreneurship is no place for amateurs. A pro gets in and gets the damn job done, no ifs or buts.
Since you now work from home (or aspire to) you need to think of yourself as a professional.
Getting the work done is the most important thing in your day. It’s more important than eating lunch with your friends, it’s more important than catching an afternoon matinee, it’s more important than shopping on Ebay, it’s more important that catching up on your zzzz’s.
Do the work first, get it done, then you have all night to do whatever you want.
Do the work, get things done, then play! But never play before work is finished!
Book recommendation: If you want to turn your art into a professional career you should read the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He does a great job of explaining what it takes to go pro. However, I really only recommend the first half of the book, you can skip the second half when it gets a little too “spiritual”.
2) Early morning work
Remember, now you’re a pro. Pros don’t wake up at noon!
Early morning is the absolute best time of day to get work done. Before your competition is even awake you’re already up and kickin’ butt.
If you want to be a champion you’ve got to wake up like a champion.
Waking up in the morning and getting things done should be your routine. Good routine = good results. No routine = no results.
3) You need a dedicated working space
You definitely need a dedicated working space. I’ve been on the road traveling and trying to work. You know what happens when you don’t have a dedicated work space and dedicated routine? You don’t get any work done!
A dedicated office is the best option, but not everyone has a spare bedroom that can be turned into an office. No problem, just make the best with whatever space you have available. I started off on the corner of the bedroom making cold calls and getting deals done.
I’ve had a bunch of different home offices. I’ve had a dedicated office in a 3 bedroom house, I’ve turned a one bedroom apartment into an office by turning the bedroom into an office and turning the living room into a bedroom, and now I’ve turned my living room into an office. Anything can work, you just need to improvise with what you have available.
You need a desk!
Desks were invented for a reason, to GTD (get things done). There’s a big anti-desk movement going around which is just silly. You don’t need a beanbag chair, you don’t need a standing desk, you need a regular damn desk and a chair. A table will work fine as well. When you’ve got yourself a table or a desk you’ve got an office and you’re in business.
The design of your home office plays a big role in how well you work from home. Great setup, great results. Poor setup, poor results.
Some tips for desk placement:
- Don’t sit facing a wall, like a mental patient.
- Don’t have your back to a door or window – This causes anxiety, always looking over your shoulder. Not to mention you’ll get a glare from the sun if you’ve got your back towards a window.
Your desk should be in the power position or command position, which is typically the middle of the room with your back to a wall and your front towards a door or window. You want to see everything that’s happening in the room, as any police officer knows you never want your back to an open door.
Keep a clean desk! Clutter is the enemy.
Remember: It’s one thing to have a desk at home to play around on and it’s another to work from home. If you work from home you will be spending a lot of time there so you need to turn your work space into the best space possible.
4) Plan your workday in advance
The biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is to not plan his workday in advance. If you don’t have a plan, you don’t have a blueprint to follow. Without a plan you’re just winging it.
Failing to plan is planning to fail!
To make sure you get your business done each and every day you need to have a plan for each and every day. You need to visualize, in advance, everything you are going to do and what you are going to get taken care of.
How do you plan your day?
5) Keep and follow a to-do list
The best way to plan your workday is to keep a to-do list of everything you need to accomplish, right down to the smallest thing. Going into your workday without a to-do list is like going to a gunfight with no gun!
What are you going to work on if you have no plan or list of things to work on? You’re going to “work on” watching YouTube videos or playing around on social networking sites. I’ve been there a million times.
Have a plan and stick to it!
6) Outlaw any time consuming and negative habits
If you’re supposed to be working then keep things like TV, YouTube, and social media OFF LIMITS! until you have accomplished what you need accomplished.
Keep business time for business and pleasure time for pleasure.
When you’re an entrepreneur working from home one of your greatest enemies is not being in the mood to work, or “not feeling like working”.
Not being in the mood to work can cause a real problem because if you don’t work, you don’t eat.
There are a few ways to get into a good mood and start your day off right.
When you do cardiovascular exercise your body releases ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins.
- Go for a 30-45 minute power walk
- Go swim some laps
- Hit the treadmill, stairmaster, or bike and do some low intensity cardio (pop some motivational podcasts on your phone and listen to them while you prepare for the day ahead)
You don’t need to sprint or run 10 miles, just get your heart pumping.
Years ago I’d wake up just before sunrise and take the dog out for a long walk and watch the sun come up.
Always take a shower before it’s time to work!
Never go to work dirty.
It’s impossible to not be pumped up and energized after a cold shower. To start taking cold showers, take your hot shower as normal but at the end of the shower gradually turn the water from cool, to cold, to ice cold! By the time you are out you will be pumped up and energized and definitely in the mood to get some work done.
Even if you don’t take a cold shower you still need to bathe and groom yourself in the morning. Sure, you work from home, but you don’t need to live like a dirty bum.
Act as if. In this case, act as if you’re going to work. Even if you’re just walking 15 feet to your living room.
8) Dress for success
Even if you work from home, always wear clothes that make you want to work and achieve. If you dress like a bum (sweats, pajamas etc..) you won’t have the same motivation as you would if you were wearing your business attire.
A man dressed like a policeman feels like a policeman, a man dressed like a businessman feels like a businessman, and a man dressed like a lazy bum feels like a lazy bum. That’s not psychology, it’s common sense.
Always dress the way you wish to be seen. That doesn’t necessarily mean a suit and tie but it probably doesn’t mean pajamas and a dirty shirt.
Always wear clean clothes and always be clean.
I personally never wear business attire, it’s too hot where I live, but I always put on fresh, clean clothes in the morning.
9) Give yourself a deadline
Deadline is a dirty word but deadlines light a fire and make you finish your work.
Allow only a certain amount of time to get ALL of your work done. This way, you will be racing against the clock and will not have time to stop and think about how much you don’t want to work. All you know is that it’s a race to the finish and you want to win!
Racing against the clock produces results, that’s a guarantee.
10) Drink lots of Coffee or tea
Whatever gets your adrenaline going is what you should drink. Get on a pot of coffee and get to work, keep yourself hopped up on caffeine until you are finished with the days work schedule.
I don’t like to eat much food in the morning because it slows you down while your gut digests it. When I do eat breakfast I eat a simple meal of 4-5 scrambled eggs. Stay away from bread, oatmeal, or pancakes in the morning. Those things will slow you down and you don’t want to be slow! You want to be alert and ready to go.
When you’re ready to take your focus to the next level you can try modafinil.
11) Focus on the end result
It’s not about the journey! It’s about getting the work done. Period.
Get your work done and keep your eye on the prize. Keep reminders of what your end goal is all around you, that way they remind you of what you’re working for.
Print out and paste your goal all over your work-station. Print out pictures of what you want. This will help you visualize your end-goal and keep you in the mood to work.
12) Go to the gym at night
I’ve been to the gym at nearly every conceivable time and I’ve learned one very important thing: If you work your ass off in the gym you are going to be tired and drained when you leave the gym.
What does that mean for the entrepreneur?
It means you should work out at night, after your work day is finished.
If you go to the gym in mid afternoon, and you lift hard, you are going to be drained for the rest of the day. I’ve been there and done that a million times and it’s no fun to get home at noon and be drained of energy and then be useless for the rest of the day.
Gym time is a must but it should be done after you finish your work day.
You’ve got a couple of bonuses hitting the gym at night…
Even if you work from home you will still get stressed at certain things and you’ll need an outlet for that stress. When you enter the gym in the evening you’ll have more strength and aggression than if you go to the gym in the morning or afternoon.
Since you’re going to the gym at night, after your work is finished, you’ll be able to relax a little bit when you get home and not worry about getting more work done.
EZ summary of how to work from home: Do the work. Then play. Then have a nice day.
Until next time.
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