Do you run your business from home, or are you thinking about doing so? Or are you an employee who works from home?
There are many bonuses to it, like no commute and more flexibility, but there can also be negatives - the main one being distractions. If you’re easily distracted, it can be hard to stay focused.
However, there are ways to help keep you productive throughout the day. Here’s our top tips.
Whether you live in a flat or a house, caravan, treehouse... designate a part of your home as an office. It doesn’t have to be a separate room - you could work from the kitchen table, or from a desk in your living room or bedroom.
Wherever it is, make sure it’s set up with everything you need, so you don’t have to wander off looking for stuff. This will help you get into an ‘office mindset’.
Make sure that you are comfy and sitting up right so your posture is good. Lying on the couch or in bed is not the best position to get your work done!
Sitting in your PJs is not going to help you be productive, so make sure you have a routine, just like you would if you were going into the office.
This doesn’t mean getting suited and booted everyday, but getting up, washed and dressed will help you get set up for the day.
Just as you would do if you were working from an office, it’s important to try and limit distractions. The difference being at home is that it’s much easier to access the distractions - your TV is close as is your fridge!
Keep your TV off when you are trying to work. It’s too easy to get drawn in. Try and do the same with your mobile phone. Turn off notifications from your social media or news sites so you can remain focused and in the zone. If you need background noise, put on a bit of music quietly.
And if other people are going to be in the house at the same time you’re working, ask them nicely to not disturb you during your working hours.
Try to stick to office hours. Avoid the temptation to lie in or finish whenever you fancy. This wouldn’t go down well with your boss if you were in the office, would it?
So, just like you would at work, write out a plan of what you intend to do each day and stick to it. Knowing what you need to achieve will help you stay focused and productive throughout the day.
We know you need to avoid distractions, but that doesn’t mean spending the entire day at your desk. You need to have a break, even if it’s just a quick lunch break.
If you can, take a short walk over lunch to help recharge your batteries. It’ll help you avoid burning out.
Perhaps you have a friend who also works from home? Or maybe they work nearby. Why not meet them for lunch?
Talking of meeting people for lunch, working from home can get quite lonely and sometimes it’s difficult when you don’t have someone to bounce ideas off. So, ensure you remain in regular contact with people you are working with.
Whether it’s just a quick call to check in, a Skype meeting, an ideas session or just an email to update what you’re working on - keeping in touch is important.
If you’re flying solo and don’t have colleagues, you could get involved in local networking events or meetups to help keep the productive juices flowing.