Running a business from home certainly has its advantages. You cut out the time, and money wasted commuting to an office, you have more control over your schedule, you can wear whatever you want, and you’re closer to your family. These benefits can make it seem like the best of both worlds, and in some ways, it is. However, that’s not to say that it’s not without its drawbacks. When you have so much freedom, it can make it difficult to stay motivated. With that in mind, here are ten ways you can boost productivity running a home-based business.
- Create A Dedicated Workspace
Mixing your personal space with your working life is never a good idea. While it may seem convenient to do business from your dining table or couch, there are far too many things in these spaces that could distract you. Plus, your mind associates these areas with relaxation, which means that you would struggle to stay motivated in there regardless. Instead, you should set up a home office. This could either be a room dedicated to working or just a corner of one.
- Establish Office Ground Rules
Being able to work closer to your family may seem appealing at first, but it can become frustrating incredibly quickly. When you work from home, it’s difficult for wives, husbands, children, and other loved ones to understand that, just because you’re there, it doesn’t mean that you can stop and talk to them all the time. To remedy this issue, you should establish some ground rules for your office, as well as set hours within which you can’t be disturbed.
- Plan Out Your Day
Working from home allows you to control your own schedule and work the hours that you choose. However, this flexibility doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan your days. If you start working with no clear idea of what you need to do, you’ll waste time procrastinating, as well as deciding which task to complete next. For this reason, you should create some structure by writing a list of everything you need to do. This is especially important for your morning starts.
- Find The Right Tools
Entrepreneurs are naturally busy people, and, as such, the last thing that you will want to do is waste time on tasks that you don’t need to. With today’s technology, it’s possible to automate certain jobs, giving you less to do. The tax automation software described on the Villanova University blog, for example, will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend handling tax. There are many other areas with which this technology is useful, including customer service.
- Invest In Quality Furniture
When you work for a large company, you expect the office furniture that they provide to be suitable and comfortable. With that in mind, why would you deny yourself this just because you’re working for yourself? Those who make the mistake of skimping on their furniture tend to regret it later when they’re left aching, and sometimes even injured. By investing in an ergonomic chair and other essentials, your workstation will become a much more efficient space.
- Green Up The Space
Your office should have as few distractions as possible, but that doesn’t mean that it should be a completely bare space. In fact, this could prove to be an even worse distraction, harming your productivity further. Because of this, you should decorate your office with things that help to keep you motivated. A number of studies have shown that plants, flowers, and other greenery have this power. In fact, they help to reduce fatigue and stress and boost your mood too.
- Dress For The Job
You wouldn’t dream of showing up at an office in your pajamas, so make sure that you don’t with your home business. You don’t need to put on a suit each morning, of course, but you should put some effort into your appearance. By maintaining this habit, it puts you into the right mindset for the day ahead and helps to set boundaries between your professional life and personal one. You can separate these lives further by changing out of your work clothes when you “get home”.
- Keep Your House Tidy
Although you may not have piles of dirty washing and a sink full of dishes in your office, they’re still going to distract you if you know that they’re somewhere else in your home. For this reason, you should make sure that you complete household chores every night before bed or every morning before you start working. Once your house is looking a little tidier, you’ll feel less guilty and stressed about leaving it a mess, making it easier for you to get down to business.
- Mix Up Your Days
For some people, working in the same space every day can become incredibly monotonous. When you work in a traditional office, there’s a lot of stimuli and variety that you simply don’t get at home, whether that’s heading to different conference rooms or chatting to coworkers in the kitchen. To keep yourself productive, you need to add some of that to your working life now. You can do this by working remotely now and then, such as in a coffee shop or a local library.
- Take Regular Quality Breaks
With so much to do and so little time to get it all done, it can be tempting to work longer hours when working from a home office. However, you should avoid doing so. After all, working yourself to a standstill will only make it more difficult to get work done, as well well as limit your ability to enjoy the fruits of your labor. For this reason, you should ensure that you take regular quality breaks. If you’re struggling to do so, then set an alarm or timer on your phone to remind you.
Running a home-based business definitely comes with its challenges, but, with the advice above, you should be able to keep yourself productive.