Regardless of whether it concerns telecommuting or freelancing more and more professionals are turning to work from home. We hear more and more about the benefits of such work – more time for family, conference calls in your pajamas, etc. But what about the challenge? It is not always easy to stay productive when you are exposed to numerous interruptions.
If you work from home, you are most likely to be a freelancer, consultant, or small business owner. This means that the amount of money you make is directly related to the level of your productivity. Waste of time, in this case, would mean losing money.
Here are some tips to help you stay focused during your working day and still enjoy all the unique benefits of working from home.
Observe your time
When you work in an office, family and friends seem to, by the nature of things, respect your schedule. But when you work from home there are those inevitable calls at 11 in the morning, and you are expected to do some daily tasks. In these situations very easily somebody can separate you from your working day.
It is important to set limits if it is necessary. People will appreciate your schedule only if you follow the first.
Further Reading: 5 Ways Your “Tough Times” Will Help You
Set limits on certain jobs
It is straightforward to give you the attention wanders, especially when you work on a difficult or stupid task. If you notice that you lose focus, say to yourself that you will separate only 15 minutes for this task. If you know that the end it isn’t in sight, it will add new energy to the project. If that does not work, then move on to something else and then come back to this task when your head is more relaxed.
Set clear deadlines
Have you ever wondered why you are ultra productive when deadlines are coming to an end while on the other side of an ordinary task you need a few hours? This can be attributed to the excellent work under pressure, but this can also be explained by the Parkinson’s law, which says that the task will expand to fill the time that you have assigned to it. The fight against this phenomenon by setting strict deadlines for certain tasks. This may be difficult as the end of an offer, but also very simple as a reply to the client’s email.
Log off for better productivity
Digital distractions are not reduced only on Facebook and YouTube. A bunch of emails and messages on IM from a friend and colleague are taking the most of the time. If you are stuck in the inbox, then specify the part of the day when you are separated from your phone and email to terminate your job. Later, you can log in and write the necessary answers.
Further Reading: 5 Ways to Increase Workflow and Productivity
Determine your workspace
In an ideal case, you will have an area which is designated as your office (if it is possible and the doors that will prevent all unwanted distractions). Creating boundaries are not only helping you to be more productive “at work” but also contributes to separate from work during free time.
Are you slowing down? Change the environment
If you realize that you are stuck (and you tried the tactic “only 15 minutes”), then change the environment. Go to work from the cafe for an hour or in a nearby park. Changing the environment can lead to new ideas and newfound focus.
Conduct a review of time
Have you ever wondered at the end of the day where your time went? If you are self-employed, it is important to understand exactly how you use your time. Periodically perform a detailed check of time and watch what you did and how much it took you time for. These controls can provide a clear view of the early flow and help you to make some corrections if that is necessary.
Further Reading: 5 Signs You’re Just Not Meant For A 9 To 5 Desk Job
Make a list of tasks
Try to have more sheets of tasks at the same time. One list follows the long-term goals (Projects need to finish by the end of the month). Then each morning make a special list of daily tasks. Be sure to list your tasks more realistic. Nothing is more discouraging than staring at too ambitious a full list of things that are impossible to do.
Turn on the break
Whether you work from home or the office is not possible to stay focused for hours without stopping. Breaks are integral parts of the working day, so be sure to be included in the same. Have you ever delayed going to the gym or out to lunch with a friend, “because you’re too busy”?
The chances are that you, on the same day, spent over an hour watching TV, Facebook, checking account in a bank or in organizing your cabinet. Occupation with a job does not achieve anything, and it will not recharge your batteries. Therefore, take a walk with the dog, go for lunch or do anything you enjoy. You will not only be happier, but you will be more productive.
Make your own home-working dress code
You must admit that is one of the best things about working from home is that you never have to dress business wardrobe. However, some people who work from home have gone too far, and so most of them work in their pajamas or worse in their underwear
Loose clothing can affect productivity. If you’re wearing a shirt with a big hole, although no one except you will see this, it will affect your professionalism and confidence. This will be manifested when you talk on the phone with some important client, and even while you write.
Another reason to get dressed in a business manner, even if it’s just a jeans and T-shirt, it is that such a dressing is what puts you in the operation mode. This is a signal that you begin to think about work and that your mind may deliver the information more quickly.
So, you need to create a personal dress code. Be sure that looks representative, but also comfortable. One of the perfect dress codes is one where you look representative enough to open the door, and at the same time to gain confidence. Of course, do not forget personal hygiene.
Many of us have tried to work from home or are dreaming about it. We know that this is the right thing for creative people who do not like the structure and hierarchy.
However, working at home brings a lot of temptations that can sabotage our productivity, creativity, sanity, happiness and even affect our health. Because of these dangers, it is important to make sure you follow all of these steps that will ensure the focus on work and thus higher productivity and safer.