Working at home can be very rewarding because you are your own boss. But are you working at home – productively? This is a serious question because whilst it is clear that being your own boss is great it means you have that wonderful ability to:
- take time off,
- to put off jobs till tomorrow that should be done today,
- to not work at all
- to miss your own planned targets and get negative feedback.
1. Focus on actually doing something.So how can we make sure we are working productively?
All the time you are not doing anything related to your business you are not working productively. Keep a note of how much time you are actually doing something for the business; doesn’t have to be scientific, just note down at the end of the day how much time in hours you actually worked. Track this on the same back of an envelope for a few weeks to ensure that the total amount of your productive time increases, (or at least stays the same), otherwise you are slipping the wrong way.
2. Avoid distractions like the proverbial plague.
I start my working day with nothing on my desk except my notebook I also will not fire up my emails. This forces me to get into word and write. There are no distractions around me and I cannot check my email without consciously switching it on (therefore I don’t).
This way I concentrate on writing which is the most important task of my day. Once it’s finished I can relax.
3. Do the most important and hardest tasks first in your day.
This is an application of the second point. Always prioritise your days tasks and choose to do the most important ones first. Three reasons – firstly they are must do items and therefore you don’t want to miss doing them. Secondly you will feel so good once they are done, . which will help your productivity later in the day. Thirdly you are doing the hardest tasks when you are freshest and this is when your productivity is highest
4. Only work on tasks that really matter.
It is tempting to think that all the tasks on your to do list really matter but our old friend Pareto pointed out that 80% of your results come from 20% of what you do each day. This clearly means that a number of tasks don’t produce anything (filing??). So when you are looking at your daily to do list be brutal and cut it down to those tasks which really matter, and cull those that will have little or no effect on your productivity.
5. Take a break to revive yourself..
This sounds a bit stupid, but you cannot be highly productive all the day, it just doesn’t work that way. If I am writing I know when my thought processes are winding down or worse stopped. So I take a small (note please) break. I make a cup of tea, chat to my wife for five minutes, watch the news headlines, take a quick walk outside. Guaranteed I feel better after any one of those, Back to work refreshed. Try it but make sure the break is small (max 15 minutes).
Be more productive – these are easy to do.
If you take these five points into account, and don’t forget to track your productive time spent on building your work at home business, you will see your productivity increase and the effect on your business will also be apparent.
Enjoy more productive days,
Yours in work at home business,
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