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 You are Here: Work at Home Moms > Telecommuting & Work at Home Directory > Telecommuting Challenges

The greatest telecommuting challenge? Motivating yourself to work from home

The laundry is calling,
the dishes are dirty,
the dog hair is piling up on the sofa,
you need a new dress for your husband’s work party,
your child forgot their homework,
your refrigerator is empty,
you’re hungry,
the printer needs ink,
you need an oil change,
Oprah has Dr. Oz on today,
your cat needs to go to the vet

and oh yes, that project is due at the end of the week.

Sounds extreme yet anyone who works from home can relate. This is the life of a work at home mom. It is not an exaggeration. In fact, if your child isn’t sick, your house is always clean, and you’re consistently ahead of schedule you probably need to teach a class on how to work from home because those days are few and far between for the majority of telecommuters.

So how does a telecommuter stay sane, productive, and motivated?

Discipline is certainly an important aspect of staying motivated and productive. Having a schedule and sticking to it. If the dishes are dirty, so what? They can be washed after 5:00 when the workday is complete or better yet someone in your family can help out. If you don’t want to miss that Oprah, record it! If your printer needs ink, order it online. If your child forgets their homework one more time then they’re just going to have to get a late penalty. Truly, discipline is extremely important to staying motivated.

Scheduling is also part of keeping a balance. Yes, you schedule your work day, you can also schedule chore time, you time, and even family time. Sounds like a lot of scheduling, right? What about spontaneity? Allow it to happen. Scheduling will take care of 90% of your life, let the other 10% happen. Change and the ability to adapt are part of what help us grow.

If your child comes home sick from school, acknowledge that they need you and relish the fact that you’re able to take care of them and work at the same time. True, your work day may be less productive than planned however if you worked on-site you’d have to take the day off. Telecommuting gives you the power to be more flexible.


Set goals and reward yourself for achieving them. Goals are essential to not only keep work at home moms productive they help keep you motivated and rewarding yourself for accomplishing your tasks makes staying motivated fun.

Start small. Make sure your goals are challenging, yet attainable - In other words, don't make your goals all too easy, but then again, don't list a bunch that you will never achieve. If you make them too easy, you will feel like you haven't accomplished much and if you make them too difficult, you'll feel defeated.

Set a realistic timetable for your goals. Remember, you can't do everything at once.

If you have short and simple goals, like sticking to a daily typing schedule, set short timeframes. Make your goals measurable.

 Create a specific plan and then establish the steps you need to take to accomplish your goal.

Identify what "tools" you will use and how will obtain the "tools" to achieve your goals.

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