Productivity Tips While Working From Your Home-Based Business: According to Census data, in 2008 almost six million people called their home their primary place of work. And this number has continued to grow. In fact, more companies are using telecommuting as an incentive. Many large firms, such as IBM and Boeing, have even reported seeing increased productivity by letting their employees telecommute.
But with a flexible work schedule and no one peering over your shoulder, it can sometimes be difficult to stay on track.
Here are a few productivity tips to help you while working from home:
Schedule your day
Make a plan for yourself to help you visualize how you want your day to go. This will help keep you on track if you start to slip, and it will let you review your goals for what you want to have accomplished by the end of the day.
Have a home office
Designate where you will be working. Your office does not have to look like a typical office space, but it does have to be an area where you feel comfortable and can be free from distraction. When you are in that space, you know you will be working and that mindset alone will make you more productive.
Set regular hours
Don’t wait for inspiration to hit to start working. Define the times you will be working, and you will force yourself to start your day at a time when you can be productive. Some of us are night owls, and some of us are early birds. Whenever you are most creative is when you should plan to schedule your work day.
Unplug any distractions
Cell phones, TVs, social networks — these are all distractions and can quickly sink our productivity if we don’t shut them off once in a while. When you have a big project, don’t be afraid to seclude yourself and eliminate your distractions. You will get your work done faster and at a higher quality. Force yourself to focus for at least 15 minutes, and you will be surprised how much more you can accomplish.
Give yourself a break
Even though you’re working from home, let yourself take breaks. Go outside and get some air for about 10 minutes and refresh your mindset. Mental breaks are necessary for maintaining productivity.
Make your work schedule public
One benefit of working from home is the close proximity to your family. However, it is important to let your family know when you are “at work.” It is easy for children to not realize the importance of needing to focus when you are deep in thought on a project. Letting them know you are working and not to interrupt you will let you focus on the important tasks at hand.
Dress for success
Let’s face it. Our mindset is different when we are conducting meetings or trying to do business in our pajamas. The way we dress reflects the way we feel, so it is important we are dressing the part. Have a routine each morning that gets you up, out of bed, awake and ready for the day, just as you would if you were driving to an office building. This will help you become more mentally alert and ready to work.
Take advantage of the perk of telecommuting and use the extra time saved on the drive to socialize. Because you won’t have your team in front of you to chat with over the water cooler, it is important to still get out and touch base with the outside world. Schedule breakfast or lunch meetings with an influential person and get yourself out of the house. Even though it may seem these are taking away from your work, you never know which doors these meetings will open for your business, and this can be more productive in the long run.
When you define what you want to accomplish in a day, week or month, you have a clear end in sight. With goals, you automatically help focus your mindset each day on what needs to be accomplished to reach your goals. Short- and long-term goal setting is crucial to any business person, and it is even more important when working individually. Write them down, review them each morning and get to work accomplishing what you want.
Take advantage of your telecommuting
Use extra time that you earn by telecommuting for your community, your family or yourself. Take part in a charity event, take your kids to the park, or hit the gym more often. No matter what you use your extra time for, taking advantage of this perk will let you appreciate the ability to work from home and you in turn will work harder to continue having the advantage of being able to keep your home office.