When you work from home, it’s important that you make the most of the time you have so you can accomplish the goals you set for yourself every day. However, sometimes that can be difficult to do. This post will share a few techniques you can use to be more productive when working from home.
Set goals for yourself – What do you want to accomplish today? If you do phone work, most likely the company you work for will have certain sales goals they want you to achieve. If you do freelance writing or transcription, however, you’ll have to set your own goals.
If you can, work during your productive hours – We all have times when we’re most productive – some of us are most productive early in the morning, others are more productive at night. If you can, try to work during the hours when you’re most productive. This can be difficult if you do phone work, however, because the hours when you’re most productive may not be hours when the company’s call volume is the highest.
Schedule regular office hours – Try scheduling regular office hours, and focus only on work during those hours. Let your family and friends know your hours, and tell them if they call you during those hours you’ll have to call them back.
Get organized – Having an organized office is not only a great way to increase your productivity, it’s also a great way to stay focused, because when your office is organized, you won’t be thinking about how disorganized it is.
Limit distractions – I discussed this at length in Monday’s post. Try to limit distractions by scheduling times to respond to personal emails as well as do other non-work related tasks. If you have children, try to work when they are napping or at school, or see if you can find someone to watch them.
Dress for work – You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but be sure to dress somewhat professionally, especially if you’re seeing clients in your home. It’s hard to feel motivated to work if you’re wearing pajamas or anything that’s too casual.
Have a dedicated work space – If possible, try to create a space that you use only for work. Make sure that your family knows where this space is, and that you’re not to be disturbed when you’re in it.
Get out of the house – Try to get out of the house every so often and unwind. Spend some time with friends on weekends if you can, and every few months take a vacation somewhere if that’s possible.
Have a to-do list – Make a list of the goals you want to accomplish for the day. This can be a paper list, or you can use a website like Goodtodo or Evernote to make up your list.
Exercise – Try to take a brisk walk on your break if you can, or you can exercise first thing in the morning like I do – I find exercising in the morning is a great way to get my day started.
Change projects – If you’re working on multiple projects and you’re getting frustrated with the project you’re currently working on, set it aside for a while and focus on something else. I find this works especially well with freelance writing – if I can’t come up with ideas for a post or an article I’m working on, I’ll put it away and work on something else. When I come back later, I can look at it with a fresh eye and make changes that make it sound better.
Try the Pomodoro Technique – With the Pomodoro Technique, you work non-stop on one task for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break – this 30 minute block is called a Pomodoro. You do three more Pomodoros, then take a longer break – maybe 15 or 30 minutes. You do this for every task on your to-do list, and keep track of how many Pomodoros it takes you to complete each task you work on. If you get distracted during a Pomodoro, restart your timer. When you see how many Pomodoros it takes you to complete a task, you can brainstorm ways to cut down the amount of time you spend on the task so you can be more productive.
Staying focused and motivated not only helps your day go by faster, it also helps you make more money because you’ll be more productive.
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