Working from home seems simple. You can sleep late, go out for a cup of coffee, and work for as long as you like. Unfortunately for us, it’s never that easy. There are many distractions that keep you from working and if you work from the moment you get up from bed till late at night you’re probably heading for a burnout.
In order to grow your business, you need to shift to that “I’m at work” mindset and be efficient instead of just trying to work all day long without much success. Here’s what I do to be more productive:
Get ready for a new day
I love sitting in my pajamas all day long, but they always make me think of weekends and holidays. Changing your clothes, taking a shower, or even putting a little makeup on lets your mind know that it’s time to work.
My morning routine is very simple, I change my clothes, brush my teeth and wash my face. Comfy clothes make me feel better, so you’ll rarely see me in jeans when I’m at home. You can even have an outfit you wear only when you are working. And yes, you can wear yoga pants when you work from home.
Set working hours
Every creative entrepreneur works 12-14 hours a day at least for a short period of time. You might work hard when you start your business or your business might be so successful that you don’t have time to sleep, but you have to set working hours in order to avoid a burnout.
You don’t have to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. if you don’t like that. Some people even love working at night. Setting working hours will help you concentrate on what needs to be done and when all the work is done you can unwind.
One of the advantages of working from home is that you are the one who decides when to work. You can work on the weekends and take a break in the middle of the week, or spend the day with your children and work when they are asleep. And make sure your clients know when you are available for work.
Take advantage of working from home
Since you make your own schedule, you can take advantage of that flexibility and spend an afternoon with your children or go out with your friends (if they also have flexible work hours).
Forbidding yourself something, whether it’s a cup of coffee or doing chores, will not make you more productive. On the contrary, there’s a great chance you’ll work less. It’s better to take some time off and do something you like instead of daydreaming about it.
Minimize potential distractions
I don’t know about you, but I can’t concentrate if the house is dirty or the sink is full of dishes. I don’t vacuum when I’m supposed to do client work, but if I have a slower day, I set aside an hour for doing laundry or cleaning the fish tank.
When it comes to emails, I like to answer them as fast possible, but there are days when I want to turn off notifications. The same goes for social media. If they become too distracting, you can add them to your daily schedule and only check and answer emails twice a day and spend half an hour updating your social media.
Having too many things on your to-do list will leave you feeling overwhelmed and it might even make you work less than you should. Instead of trying to do a little of everything every day, you should focus on your most important tasks.
I usually start with client work and then focus on the blog. I also answer emails and support tickets every day, but I work on products for my shops when I have more free time.
Set achievable goals
Having fixed working hours and focusing on your most important projects means that you can break your tasks into more manageable timeframes. Adding smaller tasks to your daily schedule means you are more likely to finish them by the end of your work day. This is very helpful if you tend to procrastinate and leave everything until close to the deadline.
Take midday breaks
When I’m very busy or focused on a project, I can spend hours without getting up from my chair. And I’m always more tired than usual when I do that.
Taking breaks is not only vital for your creativity, but also for your health. You should try to take a small break every hour and a longer one at noon or in the middle of your work hours. You can spend this time reading, having lunch, going out for a walk or even taking a nap. Your body will thank you for doing that.
Create a work area
One of the things I love about freelancing is that I can work from my sofa. It’s so comfy and it doesn’t feel like working. I’m actually sitting on my sofa while writing this post.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always good for productivity. Having an office space or just a desk in your living room will help you change your mindset and focus more on work. You’ll have an easier time differentiating work from just sitting at home and relaxing.
What are the biggest challenges you face when you work from home?