The work from home lifestyle is an attractive option for entrepreneurs and traditional employees alike. You can set your own hours, dress how you want and work in a way that maximizes your time and skillset. However, working in the comforts of home carries risks that many don’t consider before embarking on it.
Working at home is filled with distractions, chores, errands, pets, family members, television and even the couch. A mid-day nap is pretty darn awesome! But when those distractions begin to dominate your time, energy and productivity, you’re in for real trouble on the work front.
Here are some tips for how you can make remote work more productive and satisfying, whether it’s an everyday occurrence or an occasional day away from the office.
You have to be very disciplined to work from home. If you don’t maintain a very strict schedule, you can find yourself becoming easily distracted, completely ruining your productivity. It helps to have a dedicated workspace, rather than sitting in front of the TV with your laptop. Create a home office that mimics a real office and have set hours that you follow daily.
Where it’s really easy to get tripped up is with productive, and to-do list home distractions. Paying bills, scheduling appointments and exercising seem like valid excuses to stop working for a bit. It’s not like these activities are enjoyable, but they can take up a lot of your time and focus. Set yourself a chore schedule outside of work hours and stick with it.
Without co-workers watching your every move, it’s easy to get sucked into your favourite distractions. While it won’t be fun, you can accomplish much more by removing them from your workspace.
If you love having the news on in the background, but every headline catches your attention, turn it off. If perfectly filed nails give you deep satisfaction and have you constantly reaching for a nail file, stash it out of sight. And we think you already know that putting your cell phone away is a good idea.
Sure it’s awesome to roll out of bed and over to the computer in your pajamas, another perk of working at home. But when you elevate your appearance even when it’s just you and your laptop, you will be more inspired and energized to do meaningful work. Wash your face, brush your teeth and get dressed as if you were going into an office.
Want to work less and play more whether you work at home or in an office? Create a system of prioritization that identifies the tasks that will make the most impact on your business, customers, co-workers and tribe. Ditch all that stuff that just fills time but doesn’t bring in any value. Write down every task you do daily, weekly, monthly, annually. For each one, note how these lead to financial growth for you or the company. If it doesn’t, then ditch it!
Working from home can increase productivity, but without the proper checks and balances in place, it can just as easily lead to feelings of isolation and a serious lack of motivation.
Planning for success is key, and the 5 strategies above should help. What would you add to this list? How do you stay productive when working from home? Tell us!