7 tips to be productive working from home

 

 

written by Irene

 

The biggest challenge for working at home entrepreneurs, is balancing work and family life. The last few years more and more people around the world aim to create their own businesses and never have to deal with a boss and strict working schedules. 

However, is it that simple to become your own boss? Is working from home the best alternative for you?

Nothing comes without its downsides. Just like any other job model, it has its pros and cons. In this post I’m talking about the most common shortcomings you will have to deal with and how to minimize them and thrive in your business. 

Download the FREE 7 step guide to be productive while working from home.

 

All of us who have chosen to work from home have struggled at some point with various distractions that are inevitable when your home becomes your office.

There are two categories of people working from home. Employees working remotely for a company and entrepreneurs building their own businesses. In this post we are talking mostly about the second group. Of course all 7 tips apply to anyone who has transformed their home to their office.

Productivity Working From Home (2)

TIP no 1 : Make sure you know why you chose this

Are you a stay at home parent needing all the flexibility you can get, while contributing financially to the family income? Perhaps you quit your 9 – 5 job to start your own business and be your own boss. Do you work remotely for a company and prefer not commuting to the office on a daily basis?

As said before, in this post we are focusing on self employed entrepreneurs.

So primarily, if it is your choice to work from home, you certainly need to make a Business Plan. This will help you not only recognise your professional goals, but also create a daily schedule. When you know how fast you want your business to grow, it is easier to decide how many hours per day you have to dedicate to your work.

Before you start building your business from home, make sure you know what motivates you and your long term goals. 

Now let’s move to

TIP no 2 : Create a schedule and stick to it

The one thing almost every worker from home has to deal with at some point, is the lack of a schedule. Working alone means you need to be extra disciplined. And that discipline has to come from you and only you. No boss will dictate what time you come to the office and when you can leave. But after all, isn’t that freedom, what you were looking for in the first place?

Start every working day at around the same hour. It really doesn’t matter if that is super early or later in the morning. Create a morning routine and follow it. 

Warm sheets might be tempting especially during cold winter mornings. But if you oversleep, you will find yourself feeling frustrated when noon approaches, wandering where the day has gone and why on earth didn’t you finish that project you where supposed to.

Therefore wake up, have breakfast (or have a coffee, it depends) and get dressed as if you are heading to the office. Also create your own deadlines and be strict about them. Set specific goals and reward yourself each time you achieve one.

TIP no 3 : Set the rules

When your home becomes your office space, it’s fundamental that you set rules and boundaries with family members or roommates, depending on your living situation. Be clear about your need for quietness. Imagine trying to attend an online workshop and not being able to listen because of too much noise in the room next to yours. 

During working hours, make it loud and clear that you are not the house manager. It’s not the time to vacuum, do the laundry or pick up your kids’ toys from the floor.

 

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TIP no 4 : Separate work from home chores 

If you find yourself answering e mails and at the same time cooking dinner, something needs to change. Trying to do everything will eventually end up in a disaster. 

Behave as if you are working at a regular office away from home. Wouldn’t you prepare the daily meals the night before? Do exactly that. 

Go to the groceries store after you finish work. Sometimes we have to accept that monotasking is better than juggling many tasks at once.

Tip no 5: Take regular breaks

If you had a 9 – 5 job in the past, you might used to take small breaks to have a cup of tea, or chat with your colleagues. Now that you work for yourself, it’ s natural to feel isolated and stuck in front of the screen now and then.

To be more productive and keep a positive mindset, do some stretching, listen to your favourite song or even take a short walk around the block. As soon as you sit in front of your computer again, you’ll notice the difference in your mood and creativity.

 

Tip no 6: Learning and training opportunities

Always keep an eye for learning opportunities. Running your own business requires a lot of effort and the need to keep abreast of technology and marketing strategies. There are numerous courses online, both free and paid. Do your research and decide what suits you best.

Keep learning as you grow your business.

Tip no 7: Connect with other people

Finally, working from home can make you feel isolated and alone. Not sharing your plans and aspirations, can cause stress and doubt if your job has any real value. 

Find online groups of people working in the same field as you do and don’t hesitate to reach out. If you run your own business you should be part of a community. Ask questions, learn from others’ mistakes and experiences, offer help. You can even start some kind of collaboration and expand your business in a way you didn’t expect to. 

In addition you can attend meetings or workshops both on and off line. Who says working from home has to be monotonous?

Making online friends can also boost your confidence and help you in moments you’ll doubt your endeavours. 

Working from home can be tricky. Especially if you run your own business. There is no one else to guide you or tell you what to do if things get tough. You are responsible for every detail and every mistake. 

Yet, it means you get all the credit for what you achieve. 

If you are like me and enjoy being your own boss, every time you encounter a difficulty remind yourself why you chose this job and life style in the first place.