Congratulations! You’ve finally done it. You’ve cast off those bonds of working for someone else that you’ve been plotting for some time. There’s no more stupid boss, no more two-hour commute, no more smell of coffee burning in the break room and no more office politics. You’ve traded work that doesn’t matter to you for work that really doesn’t matter and best of all, you’re working from home.
Back in 2013, Forbes.com published an article that revealed how 1 out of 5 Americans currently works from home. While it can be a goal for most people, it can have some drawbacks. For example, maybe you just looked at the clock and saw it was already 5 PM. “Where did the time go,” you ask yourself. You look down and realize you’re still wearing your pajama bottoms. Since you’re in the friendly confines of your own home you didn’t have to spend much time getting ready for the day but did you really accomplish anything? We know you want to be successful in working from your home and here are some tips that can help.
Get up, take a shower and get dressed
Whatever you do, don’t try to work from bed. Your bed should be for sleeping and other fun activities but not work. On the other hand, you may not want to get right to work even if you’re on fire with new ideas because after a while you’ll start itching and smelling really bad. So, blast your body with water, brush your teeth and put on some clothes. You’ll not only feel better you’ll feel more like you’re running an actual business.
Create a routine
This whole thing about working from home is new to you and it may take you awhile to adapt to your circumstances. But the sooner you set some parameters for yourself the better. For example, you should make sure you’re at work at your desk at a set time. While it’s okay to hit the snooze button once or twice you’ll feel a lot better if you get up and get a bunch of work done by 10 AM. Also, learn to measure success around tasks and not time.
Write today’s to-do list yesterday
It’s possible that these lists were created by some cruel taskmaster but they’re the key to keeping motivated. Set aside 10 minutes before you go to sleep at night to make your list for the next day. This will give you something to get excited about. But don’t prioritize more than three large tasks. And you might want to have a secondary list with tasks you need to do but not necessarily the next day.
Set a mood – musically
One of the biggest keys to working from home is to create a pleasant working environment. The room you work in should have a lot of light and don’t be afraid to move things around until you feel totally comfortable. Believe it or not, working in total silence can be distracting. So sign up for Spotify Premium and get a Focus playlist. Music by Vivaldi has been scientifically proven to help with concentration but any type of classical music will be a good way to brighten up your work day. And whenever you’re writing don’t pick music with lyrics as this can be very distracting.
The Internet world is full of potential distractions whether it’s an email, a Tweet, new pictures on Instagram or something funny on your Facebook Newsfeed. The difference between having a good and bad day is whether or not you allow yourself to become distracted.According to the data published on CorpMagazine.com, their survey revealed that 68% of workers are distracted by what they see on the Internet. Focus on being relentlessly single-minded. If you find this difficult there are several self-control apps that will stop web pages such as Facebook from opening during whatever time periods, you choose. The first rule of staying focused is if there’s anything during the day that takes you away from your work for even a moment find some way to stop it from happening going forward.
Be a tortoise not a hare
This may come as a shock but the person who works for just 40 or 45 minutes an hour will get more done than those who work nonstop all day. You simply need to take periodic breaks to refuel. For example, before you start a work session you might set the timer on your phone for 50 minutes. Then when it sounds off, stop working for 10 minutes. Get up, breath, drink a glass of water, and try not to look at your computer. If you just can’t resist taking a peek, use this time to check your email. Then after a 10-minute break, set your timer again and get back to work. It might feel productive to work for three or more hours at a stretch but you’ll actually get more done if you rest frequently during that time period. Don’t be relentless. Work smart.
Be smart about email
According to the data from PEWInternet.org, emails are an important tool for workers. However, do not think that you have to immediately respond to every email you receive. If you’re not careful you could waste your entire day doing nothing but email. A day spent online is not a productive day. If you leave your email box open this can be an ongoing temptation to stop working. To be successful working from home you need to learn to check your email only at specific times. For example, you might establish a window of 10:30 to 11:00 AM, which means you will have more than two hours in the morning to create without getting sidetracked. Most experts say that 30 minutes should be enough time to take care of any messages that are urgent. Some of those who work from home save the biggest chunk of their email until after they’ve quit working for the day. Of course, you won’t be responding to your emails immediately but you will get a lot of other stuff done.
Remember, you do need exercise. There’s the idea that if you take a day off you’ll be less successful. Well, sitting in your home office and getting fat is just going to make you tired and in the long run sick., Ride your bike, go sit on a park bench, and read and smell the fresh air. You need to put aside at least one day a week to get out-of-doors, see people and try to get involved in some stimulating conversations. In short, be good to yourself and you’ll end up feeling fresher and more motivated to get all those items on your to-do list checked off.
More ways to increase your productivity
Finally, here’s a video with more tips for increasing your productivity when working from home