Home-based business owners have many advantages. Often the schedule is more flexible, you don’t have to face a daily commute, and you can be available for your family during the work day when necessary. But it’s still work, and your success often depends greatly on your ability to focus and remain disciplined. Here are some tips for working better from home.
- Dress for work. Although we often get the idea that working from home means working in your pajamas, don’t fall into that trap! Dress for work each day to help yourself make the mental shift that you’re going to work.
- Connect with others. It can be easy to become isolated when you’re working from home, which can make you less effective. Make time to connect with others regularly, either on the phone or by making time to get coffee. Connecting with others will help you stay sharp, grow your business, and prevent you from getting wrapped up inside your own head.
- Separate your work and personal to-do lists. If you were working in an office, you would very likely only have work-related tasks on your to-do list. Your personal to-dos would be kept separate. Do the same thing when working from home, and keep yourself focused on work during the time you have set aside for your business.
- Make a schedule. Even though your schedule may be more flexible, it’s still important to give yourself a regular work schedule, and a routine that you can get used to. This will keep you on task. You may want to schedule administrative work and other tasks at the same time the rest of the working world is working. This will also help those around you understand that you are at work, and give you more time for others when they are home from work. Lay out on your calendar when you will accomplish certain tasks related to your business, and hold yourself accountable.
- Communicate your schedule. If your family is home during the day while you’re working, it’s essential that they understand when you are at work. Post your work schedule so that your family understands when you are working, and doesn’t interrupt you. Close the door to your office, and put up a “work in progress” sign. If you have young children, you may want to provide a special set of toys that they may only play with when you are at work, and schedule some time after work for your kids to enjoy with you as a reward for not interrupting.
- Assess daily and weekly progress. At the end of each day and week, take a look at what you have accomplished on your to-do lists, and identify the places you got off track. Are there places you became distracted, or did your family need time you had set aside for work? Make adjustments regularly based on these results, so that you can be sure that the time you set aside for work is as efficient and realistic as possible.
With focus and discipline, working from home can be a real advantage. However it’s not always easy to avoid distractions and get the job done. Identify the distractions and keep making adjustments to keep yourself on course, and you’ll do a better job working from home, leading to a successful business.
What tips do you have for working better from home? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!