Working from home is one of the greatest evolutions in the ever-changing business world. But it does come with a few challenges. I have many clients who are fed up with the corporate rat race and see a home business as a beacon of light. To them, and to you, I say - brace yourselves: a home business can be intense and can take you on an unexpected and exciting whirlwind of life change.
You may find that the focus you might have had at an office wavers more than you expected, deadlines are harder to stick to, procrastination might kick in without an accountability partner and let’s not forget that comfy bed and couch calling out to you for an afternoon nap.
An airtight plan, process and schedule will help you boost your productivity and keep you on track. Here are my top tips to help you stay performance-oriented and results-driven in your home-based business
1- START EARLY – THE EARLIER THE BETTER
If you had an office job you wouldn’t have time to laze around in bed or watch TV until 10am – so why do that now? How you kickstart your morning will set the tone for will set the tone for the rest of your and ultimately for your business. Make it a habit to wake up early. Your body adjusts to whatever internal clock you give it. It may take minute, but the more you repeat getting up early, the more your body will know and recognize this pattern. It will get to a point where you just “wake up” and you’ll be ready to go. Get your routine in order to motivate you, be it a shower, getting dressed in work clothes and some coffee or even a quick work-out. Whatever it is, do it early and be ready to start your day by 9am the latest. With a great early-morning head-start, you are setting the right tone for a productive day.
2- MAINTAIN THE SAME OFFICE RITUALS
Being productive is a mindset. Imagine you are working in an office and establish the same rituals and process.
- Set your daily and weekly schedule – and stick to it
- List your tasks and put them into your schedule – doing the important ones first
- Set your work hours with a start time and an end time
- Don’t forget to take breaks and eat
3- CREATE A PROPER WORKSPACE
Designate a space in your home for work and only work. Find a space where you will not be interrupted or disrupted by anyone or anything. Make it an inspiring space that helps you focus. You need to have a dedicated workspace to put your mind into complete working mode. And a space you can leave at the end of the day and transition to your home life comfortably so you can leave work at work.
4- SCHEDULE BREAKS AND TAKE THEM
Would you work for a boss who forces you to work 12 hours a day without a proper break or lunch? So then why would you be that boss to yourself? Set a time for lunch every day and stick to it. Without an office buddy to remind to grab a bite or come by and share the latest gossip you may find yourself working round the clock. Get up every few hours and go for a walk, do breathing exercises, stretch. When you feel overwhelmed, walk away from your workspace and practice mindfulness for 10 minutes to re-center yourself. Find quick and easy methods to help you gain a refreshed perspective and reenergize yourself without the external motivations that come with an office job.
5- DETERMINE YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE DAY AND TIME
Is Tuesday your most productive day, or maybe hump day? Are you at your best in the morning? Does your brain turn on in the afternoon?
Figure out your peak times for optimal productivity and schedule your most important tasks within those blocks of time. Assign mundane tasks for low periods that don’t take as much effort.
6- TAKE A BREAK FROM EMAILS
Emails are a focus killer and the train wreck of the century. Limit how often you check your emails in order to avoid getting sidetracked. Never start your day jumping into emails, you will find yourself spiraling into an endless exchange at what should be your most productive time of the day. Don’t be reactive - be proactive. Set a few times in the day when you check your email rather than replying to emails every time they come in.
7- TURN A DISTRACTION INTO A FOCUS DRIVER
Some people find music to be a distraction, I can’t imagine doing work without it or the TV murmuring in the background. Silence is more of a distraction for me. But everyone is different. What can you turn into a focus driver that keeps you energized and motivated?
8- LEAVE CHORES AT HOME
Don’t let chores get in the way and take you down the road of procrastination. It’s easy to wake up in the morning and see a load of laundry that you are sure needs to be done first. Next thing you know you are stuck in home mode and still in your pjs. Get ready for work with your set schedule and start the day off focused on your business. During your scheduled break times, jump out of the workspace and take on a chore or two, maybe run out for an errand – just as you would do if you were at an office. Variety will keep you motivated and let’s be honest – this is one of the perks of working from home. Just don’t let it become a trap.
These are only a few productivity hacks for the home office, find your own and don’t let them go. Need help boosting your productivity when working from home? Set up a one-on-one session and let’s get you set up to reach your targets and keep your home business thriving.