The freedom you have when you work from home definitely has its perks, but it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. Without the designated time and space of a traditional work schedule, it is necessary implement strategies to combat distractions and boost your productivity when you work from home.
Common Distractions that Decrease Your Productivity When You Work from Home
Because there’s no separation between your work and home spaces, you are constantly reminded of the daily tasks of your household upkeep. Add to that your business tasks and the deadlines you must meet, and working from home can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Not to mention, there are distractions at home that are not prevalent in traditional work spaces. For example, you most likely won’t find your favorite shows streaming on big screens in an office. However, when you work from home the household chores, your business, and those tempting distractions are always right in front of you. It can be easy to fall into a habit of attempting to multitask, which undeniably reduces your productivity. Therefore, when you work from home, you must be diligent about taking the time to truly focus without giving in to the distractions that surround you.
In a traditional work setting, you may experience a coworker who stops by to chat about weekend plans; however, you’re surrounded by people who have common goals and understand the importance of the work at hand. When you work from home, the people in your life may not recognize that you actually have work to do and deadlines to meet because of the mere fact that you don’t work in a traditional work setting. Therefore, you may face interruptions of people calling, stopping by, or asking you to meet at all times during the day because you don’t go to work.
Working from home gives you the freedom to schedule in activities that you may not have time for if you worked in a traditional office setting. You can meet up with a friend for lunch, go to appointments during the day, or volunteer. However, with the luxury of not being accountable for being in a specific place during set hours, comes the challenge of not over-scheduling yourself with other engagements that distract from your business goals.
Strategies and Tips to Boost Your Productivity When You Work from Home
Set a Schedule
As we all know well, there’s often so much to get done and not enough time to accomplish it. When you work from home, it becomes difficult to separate those two worlds. Therefore, it’s easy to find yourself getting wrapped up in household chores and not leaving yourself enough time to accomplish your business goals. You have the freedom to schedule your business hours to fit your lifestyle. However, during those hours, it’s crucial to focus on your business without getting sidetracked by the things you need to get done around the house.
Set a Timer
For many of us, we are most productive when we work in smaller chunks of time—for example, 60 to 90 minutes. By setting a timer, you give yourself a time frame to truly focus on the task at hand. During this set time, don’t search the internet (unless it’s part of the task you’re working on), don’t have the TV on in the background, don’t text, don’t answer your phone, don’t answer the door, or do anything else that will distract from your productivity. Use this time as YOUR time to focus and work. Once, the timer goes off take a short break and do it again.
Set goals for both your household and your business that you wish to accomplish and write them down on separate lists. Then, create separate daily prioritized to-do lists to accomplish those goals. Avoid switching your focus to random tasks or chores that pop into your head while you’re working. Instead, write them down on your list so you don’t forget it. Writing these thoughts down allows you to let go of it so you can focus on your work. Physically crossing these items off a list will increase your feelings of accomplishment. This, in turn, will boost your productivity.
Set Up a Comfortable, Quiet Work Space
You will be spending a lot of time in your home office. Therefore, create an environment that you enjoy being in and where you can really focus. Ideally, your home office is away from the TV or other areas of your home that are prone to distractions and interruptions. Play soft, instrumental music if you’re someone who works better with background noise. Your goal should be to create a comfortable, quiet place where you can truly focus.
Take Time for Breaks
It’s important to give yourself a break to reenergize and refocus. Get a snack, respond to missed calls or texts, check your emails, or take a quick walk to get some fresh air and reenergize your body. It is imperative to the success of your business to honor the time you schedule for yourself to work. Therefore, avoid any distractions that will consume your time during your breaks.
In many cases, boosting your productivity is a matter of finding what works best for you. In order to find what works, start by trying a few strategies at a time, decide if they work for you, and tweak them to fit your personality and needs.
To find out how I can help you build a successful work from home business as a virtual assistant, apply for a free Maximize Your Biz call with me now at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/.