I am sure most of you would agree that working full-time on the web from home today isn’t as uncommon as it used to be a few years ago. In my last 2 years of full-time web working, I have seen many of my friends ditch their day jobs and take the plunge into this new world of self-employment.
Having said that, web work shouldn’t be misunderstood for the dream job you’ve been waiting for since…forever. I have also seen people returning to a day job after 2 or 3 months of trying to work online. So, as you can see, not everyone can make it through.
Here are some tips on what one could do to survive, thrive and ultimately flourish as a web worker.
Is Web Work Right for You?
The most important question one should ask before taking the plunge is:
Are you really cut out to work online?
That said, very few think about it. The temptation of working from home, being your own boss and creating your own schedule is enough to shun other thoughts.
But it is essential that you do a ruthless analysis of your traits, strengths and weaknesses before you think about working on the web. Sitting alone all day working on your computer isn’t easy. If you are someone who loves being around people and you enjoy professional company, you might fare well in a regular office job rather than as a web worker.
Choose the Right Profession
Once you’ve decided that you want to be a web worker (and you are certain that it aligns with your traits and interests), you need to choose the path you’ll follow.
The coolest thing about the internet is that there are literally thousands of ways to make money doing things that are legitimate. Be it writing, designing or coding – all real-life skills can be put to use to earn money on the internet.
If you’ve always loved writing, you could set up a blog to start with. Even set up a blog business if you can invest the time and resources it needs. If you’ve been playing around with Photoshop, you could start helping people design banners, websites and more. The bottom line is that it is better to go with something you love to do…and do well.
Home Office Setup
Most of the web workers become web workers to escape from the daily commute and enjoy the freedom of working from home.
Make sure you create your own isolated space in home from where you can work peacefully. Set up your home office like a real office: a chair, a desk, a whiteboard and all that. Don’t use your bedroom as your office. If you do, you’ll find yourself dozing off more often than ever.
Keep your home office clean and tidy. Understand that your home office plays a vital role in your overall productivity as a web worker. A nicely lit and organized home office will make getting your work done easier.
Tools for Productivity
As a web worker, you should hunt for (and use) tools that make you more productive. Try eliminating boring and repetitive tasks through tools and focus on the stuff that really matters.
Here are some tools you should be using, regardless of the work you do.
Chrome is fast and useful. It is fast becoming the preferred web browser for those who spend the majority of their 24 hours online.
Evernote is an amazing note-taking and organization tool. It can help you capture and organize ideas quickly and efficiently.
Using Skype for talking and conferencing saves money and also ensures that you can hear someone else’s voice apart from your own every day.
There are many more tools, depending upon the kind of work you do online, you could make use of. I’ll talk in detail about some of them in a future article.
Set Goals and Track Progress
Since you are your own boss now and have no one to answer to every day, it is easy to deviate from the tasks at hand and fall into the procrastination trap. Setting goals and tracking progress can help you avoid that.
I’d recommend that you set small, realistic everyday goals to start with. See if you can achieve them. In addition, track your daily progress in terms of what you thought you would get done, what you got done, and how it will impact your overall work and earnings.
Stay Healthy and Celebrate Often
Finally, it is important that you take good care of your health, especially because there’s a good chance you are going to be sitting on a chair almost all day. The likelihood of gaining weight increases when you work from home if you don’t do what you need to do to keep that weight off.
Take frequent breaks, go for short and long walks, exercise, do yoga or play an outdoor game every day. There are plenty of options for staying fit. You should also celebrate with your family and friends by eating out or doing some other nice stuff when you achieve your goals. That’ll help you stay motivated and drive yourself with more enthusiasm towards being a successful and long lasting web worker.