10 Ways To Stay Productive While Working From Home
Working from home has overabundant benefits, and endless possibilities to many career choices, it has become a widely advantageous avenue for entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses as well. It sounds fairly simple to send emails, make calls, and make plans - however; there can be a large number of reasons why it may become a challenge for those who are not used to being in a work environment where there is no boss.
Here are only a few tips on how you can make working from home a complete success!
1) Cut Out Distractions
Working from home can be extremely distracting, especially if you have children who are young enough to still be at home with you. Get your spouse, or an outside (trusted) person/source to help alleviate your parental duties while you get down to business. If you are not in the market of using social media sites as tools, you can put time restrictions on the sites so you don't end up stumbling into these pages and getting lost in time.
2) Build Secure Work Ethic:
When you are in a work environment there is someone always breathing down your neck, and although you have been thinking you can avoid these stressful moments by becoming your own boss - THINK AGAIN - When working from home in order to remain consistent and productive you need to gain enough control to be your own "bossy boss"!
3) What Are Your MITS?
What are your "Most Important Tasks"? Make a list of priorities, and projects of value. Keep everything on a well-organized task board, and if by chance you hit a mind block simply step back for a few moments and reevaluate your notes as to what your main goal is with the task. As yourself what end result you want, or what roll the task plays in moving forward.
4) Vary Your Tasks
Once you have decided what methods make you comfortable, create a system of being able to multi-task without spending too much time on completing one particular task. You do not want to over exert your mind on one task at any given time, but you also do not want to lose focus by bouncing around. Make your calls and follow ups with clients first thing in the morning so you know how much time will be consumed working on specific jobs.
5) Learn To Say NO!
This is a very crucial part of working from home - Often people assume that because you work from home and are able to set your own hours you are free more than not. You may receive a lot of request to be on call, or to assist them with their needs. LEARN TO SAY NO! Another assumption people jump to is that you are financially stable enough to stay home and putter around in your housecoat while you "work" it is these outside sources that often want this help free of charge. LEARN TO SAY NO! Focus on how you are suppose to be functioning through the day. Turn off your personal cell phone if possible.
6) Set Work Hours
Setting up a routine is important in order to incorporate your work hours into your daily lifestyle. Evaluate your peak energy times throughout the day, if you are a night owl please keep in mind that your clients, customers, and consumers mostly will only run on regular 9-5 business hours, and you should not leave things for the next day. Keeping everything fresh in your mind is more effective.
7) Keep an Uncluttered Work Area
You need to have a space away from your normal everyday living areas. Staying in common areas such as your living room, or bed can leave you both distracted and feeling too comfortable. It is recommended to keep your space organised, bright, and off limits to others who live in your home to avoid mess and misplacement of your work tools/paperwork. Clutter can have a negative effect on your time, stress level, and monies. You want to make sure you are completely organized and that bills, invoices, receipts do not get misplaced.
8) Take Detailed Notes
Keep detailed notes for your clients profiles, and yourself in separate booklets. Try to never start a phone conversation without a pen in your hand. You may want to use a scrap paper during the call in case there are changes to be made, but make sure you make a journal of the call as soon as you hang up the phone. Keep track of dates of meetings, calls, and tasks performed, as well as invoice information. Make notes to your task board for when follow-ups should be made, this way you do not forget - as it is a possibility you may not look into that clients book for a few days.
9) Have Required Tools -
In order to stay organized it is important to stock up on frequently used office supplies and electronic equipment. Think of tools such as fax, printer, scanner, work telephone line, computer soft wares and other tools that may be of use to you virtually. Also, manual stationary is needed such as staplers, paper clips, sticky notes, binders, note pads, daily planners, pens, pencils, erasers, tape, stamps, envelopes and anything else you may find helpful.
10) Get Outside Perspectives -
Advice from friends and family can be obtained on your "own time" if you seem to have hit a roadblock, or even just to bounce fresh ideas off one another. Being isolated can often trap you from newer perspectives and make it harder to overcome checkpoints. Build a network that is easily accessible in case you need to cross a barrier.
I wish you the best of luck and success on your journey of working from home!