At oDesk headquarters in Menlo Park, California, every Tuesday is a WFHT. This Tuesday, we want to encourage you to remember why you started working from home in the first place and what it is you want to accomplish in life. Dreams can get lost in the daily grind, but only if you let them.
Put Your Dreams Back on Your Priority List. Chances are, you chose this freelance lifestyle as a means to your dream. Maybe the dream was spending more time with family, refurbishing a home, writing the next best seller, building the next must-have technology, or creating the next video game sensation -- the point is, somewhere along the line you probably had something you wanted when you became self-employed. To keep a dream alive, it needs to stay a priority. Even a dream as seemingly simple as "being with my kids after school" can get pushed aside by work and other demands if it's not truly a priority.
Give Your Dream the Best Version of You. Writing the novel of the century is probably not going to happen at 2 a.m. if you've been crunching numbers for your new client all night up to that point. Creativity, energy and motivation need to be aligned in order to make magic, and you have the ability to give all of them to your dream. Schedule a time each week or each day when everything is dropped for at least one hour, so you can focus on your dream. For example, are you sharpest at 8 a.m.? Then you need to start building the software of the future every Monday morning at 8 a.m. Maybe (just maybe) every morning at 8 a.m. (It all depends on how bad you want that dream.)
Don't Give Up Too Easily. Sometimes dreams change. In high school you wanted to be a rock star, now you would be happy to play one night a week at your local coffee shop. It's a fair change of plans to shoot for the coffee shop -- and not entirely different than your original dream. Just don't let a momentary, short-term failure ever be the basis for abandoning a dream. There's a very wise saying: If you've never failed, you've never lived. A lot of people who have made their dreams come true encountered failure along the way. You don't want to look back on your life one day and see that you gave up too soon. So don't.
WFHT Recommended Reading
"Four Ways to Find More Personal Time" from Freelance Folder
"49 Motivational Quotes to ..." from Guerrilla Freelancing
"Sideshows: Making Time for Important Things" from Web Worker Daily
"In Search of Dolphin Leather" from Seth Godin's Blog
"The Ultimate Guide to Motivation: How to Achieve Any Goal" from Zen Habits
Much like a divorced marriage counselor, my ability to dish out advice is not an indicator of my ability to implement it. However, having worked from home for over a decade, I've learned what works and what just creates more work.