Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans works from home, according to Forbes? That’s crazy! But the truth is many of you are probably working from home right now, just like we are. No doubt that maintaining your resolve to do actual work when you’re in your pajamas, instead of games or Facebook, is a nearly impossible task. God knows that even the best of us have a hard time focusing. We sure do.
Here are 7 ways to make working from home more productive.
1. Have a Dedicated Office Space in Your Home
Having a dedicated office space makes a huge difference in how you view working from home, and how you function. Believe us; our home office used to be at the kitchen table…right in the middle of the action. It didn’t work.
Now we have a dedicated office corner, and it makes a world of difference. Perceiving your work as actual work begins and ends with where you do that work. Make it official, and make it yours.
2. Treat It Like A Normal Job
What we mean is, don’t come to work in your PJs or with a hangover. You wouldn’t do that if you were working for someone else, would you? No. Then don’t do it to yourself.
When you treat working like home as a normal job, you will begin to have much more respect for the work you’re doing and maintaining productivity will be all downhill from there.
Mind you; this isn’t always easy. We still struggle with this on occasion (we also struggle with getting up early, ugh). One thing that will help is….
3. Set A Reasonable Schedule
Setting a reasonable work schedule and sticking to it will help you begin to treat working from home with more respect. We understand that you chose to work from home for the added flexibility, but that doesn’t mean getting up at noon and working for 2 hours.
If you want to work from 9-2, do it. Just make sure that you’re up, showered and dressed by 9 am and ready to hit the desk.
4. Set Goals to Accomplish Each Day
Goals are huge and necessary for a productive home office. We are notorious list-makers, but we also made a list of our favorite organizational tools here. Use one or all of these and set your goals for each day, week and month.
If you don’t set goals, you won’t get anything done. Honestly, you’ll end up dicking around on Facebook or playing Candy Crush for half your day. We’ve been there. Just set strict goals and hold yourself to them. Or, better yet…have someone else hold you to it. Accountability buddies are a great thing, and your friends will be happy to kick your ass when you need it.
5. Take Normal Breaks
Seriously, take breaks. There have been tons of studies done that prove taking regular breaks from work increases productivity tremendously.
This means that you should take a regular lunch break, don’t eat at your desk. Go outside and take in the sunshine for 15 minutes. Go for a walk. Do something that clears your mind and gets your eyes off that computer screen. You’ll thank us.
6. Be Active During the Work Day
Being active doesn’t necessarily mean getting one of those ridiculous treadmill-desk contraptions. It simply means that you should take a few minutes every so often to get your blood pumping. An easy way to do this is to combine your activity with your breaks, as we described above.
Adding a bit of activity into your workday to get your heart rate up and get blood pumping also increases productivity. So, it’s pretty much a no brainer.
7. Do the Things That You Became An Entrepreneur To Do
Don’t get so caught up in the above 6 ways to make working from home more productive that you forget to do the things that made you become an entrepreneur.
Go out with friends. Catch that early movie. Schedule doctor and dentist appointments during the day. You can still do all of these things. Just always respect and never abuse your flexibility.
Working from home is a hard-won luxury, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Like anything else worth having, treat it with respect and do your part to make things happen and it will be fine.