So many people have this fantasy of what running a business from home involves. They cannot be blamed. Besides, who does not like the idea of working at home? It has its perks.
But then your kids and pets want attention, that friend you have not seen in a while drops by unannounced, and your chatty neighbor comes over to gossip. These and so many other unwarranted distractions will see you have a backlog of work.
Nevertheless, how can you discipline yourself so that your home office becomes an efficient and productive environment? Below are some work productivity tips that will help you maximize your home office into a thriving business environment.
Get help on things you are not that adept on
As much as you consider yourself a superman or superwoman in your business, there are things that you will find you are not so good at. This leaves you a dilemma. You either chose to do them yourself or you can have an expert help you out. You might be good in a technological innovation but a sorry excuse in accounting. To make sure your talents do not go to waste, you can hire an accountant or any other professional to streamline your business. This has been made easier thanks to consultants who offer their services to making home business owners have a struggle-free time. Also, there are online services such as virtual assistants, graphic designers, illustrators, bloggers, web designers and many others who can help with miscellaneous tasks.
Separate communication lines
It’s so tempting to use your home telephone line and personal email address for your home-based business. But to preserve some form of professionalism, it goes without saying that having a separate communication line for your business and your house comes in handy. Create a different email address for your home business. Doing so boxes business-related matters into your business email address and the rest into the other email address. It also applies to calls. Endeavor to have two separate phone lines, one for business and the other for personal use. Better yet, connect a landline for your home business. You will be guaranteed better voice quality and professional setup. We live in an era where there are apps for all sorts of things. You can sample out apps that can help you with your email, telephone calls, reminders for essential appointments and many other business matters.
Have a schedule that balances out your work and life
If there’s one thing that always endears everyone to working from home is the fact that you get to set your working hours. I mean, kiss waking up early to commute to work goodbye and say hello to sleeping in till you feel well rested! Setting your work hours affords you maximum flexibility in how you handle your work and personal life. However, more often than not, the glamor of working at home carries those running a home-based business away and their work schedules are thwarted. The best way to make this work is to have a work schedule that fits you and stick to it. The best thing that always works is to figure out when you are most productive. It might be in the morning, afternoon or the evening. If your productivity levels are high in the afternoon, then set your working time to be in the afternoons. You certainly have to interact with clients and family at some point in the day. Therefore, you can do that at your least productive time of the day. As much as home business owners would love to tick off their to-do lists, there is a certain amount one can do in a day. You need to be realistic with yourself and learn to prioritize the most urgent things that require your full attention and tackle them first. You should also remember that you are not a machine; even machines need some rest for them to function well. Schedule in some small breaks in your work routine.
Make your workspace exciting
Whatever room or table you will be working on, you should ensure when you sit there, your mind automatically changes gear and is ready to get some work done. It’s always advisable to whittle out a space that will solely be for working from home. But, if anywhere in the house is game, then it is best to work on the dinner table. It has bigger space and offers a good sitting posture. Make sure that you organize your workspace accordingly. If your desk has papers and all manner of things scattered all over, chances are, you will feel tired sitting there to get any job done. If you have documents and stationery that you use every day, make sure they are easily accessible. Those that you use at least once a week, month or year can get filed in a cabinet. It will reduce clutter on the workspace and your brain hence maximizing productivity.
Try to look professional
You might think, “The advantage of running a business from home is the freedom of wearing whatever I want.” Working at home has its advantages one of them being you do not have to wear a suit every day. The downside is that you might wake up in the morning and stay in your pajamas ALL day and not even notice. That’s how laziness and lack of motivation creeps in. To maximize productivity, get dressed in something that cannot have an impromptu client doubt your professionalism even if you’re not expecting any.