The biggest lesson I learned from telecommuting: Give yourself a deadline

Photo courtesy of flickr user Chris Betcher

Photo courtesy of flickr user Chris Betcher

After spending eight years commuting to an office building, I was back to working at home to begin 2014. At first the freedom was almost too much – I can do anything I want, at any time. Goodbye regiment, hello freedom.

But then the reality set in – I was busy, but not making progress on long term goals. Something needed to change.

That’s when I realized my problem. I wasn’t holding myself to the same standards I set in an office environment. I didn’t give myself a deadline to get things done.

When you are telecommuting, it is easy to be distracted. Like really, really easy.
But there is one thing that will keep you on task. A deadline. A time frame when you need to get something done.

Whether you work from home once a month or are permanently in your home office, it is important to set proper boundaries.

I can go and run errands… as long as I get this project done first. I can sleep in… as long as it doesn’t affect my ability to meet a deadline. Watching the kids isn’t a problem… as long as I deliver on time.

Deadlines are the glue that holds things together. Otherwise we are just sleeping in and babysitting.
It took me a year to get to this point. I did a lot during my open ended days, but I wasn’t always making progress toward my goals.

Forcing a deadline upon myself is the best thing I ever did.

An office environment is there to keep you accountable among other things. Who needs an office when you are in charge of your own destiny?

I put this strategy into motion in January. I vowed to launch an online education course on February 1st. I had been meaning to create a course for three years, but never made it a priority. By setting a deadline of February 1st, I was finally able to produce a Google AdWords training course I had been trying to launch for years.

If you are telecommuting, give yourself a deadline. It works!

About Jeff Sauer

Jeff Sauer is the founder of the popular digital marketing blog Jeffalytics, and resides in San Francisco. Jeff loves SEO, PPC, Google Analytics and WordPress and has developed a popular online marketing and measurement resource called Knowledge Land. In his spare time, Jeff travels the world and shares his experiences at Jeffsetter.com. You can follow him on Google+ and Twitter.

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