Ways To Improve Your Productivity When You Work From Home

by WorkFromHome on February 24, 2012

Starting a home business is a more popular option than ever before and, with the rise in internet-based businesses, it’s getting increasingly easy to abandon the office building for the home office — or the couch. But it can be hard to maintain a high standard of productivity in a home which is full of distractions that range from the television to the refrigerator to the heated pool. In this kind of highly distracting environment, how can you stick to your goals and keep a high level of productivity? There are a few essential ways to turn a home’s features into motivation, rather than distraction, and doing this may be the difference between success and failure in operating your own home-based business.

Create a Home Office Space from Day One

First and foremost, you must have a space separate from the rest of the home where the day’s work is completed. This is absolutely essential and helps you psychologically separate your work from your place of residence. Keep in mind that the typical office outside the home is devoid of distractions: there’s generally not a television in sight, there are no couches, no pools, no breaks in the sunshine, and certainly no fully stocked kitchens. This is done on purpose, as a productive worker needs a distinct lack of distractions in order to get eight hours worth of work done in, well, eight hours instead of twelve or sixteen.

Your home must abide by the same concept. It simply must have its own home office space, and that space must be setup strictly to promote your productivity. Eliminate distractions from this space: no televisions in the corner, no comfy couches, no spare beds, and no snack drawer. Stock this space with printers, faxes, computers, phones — but nothing that will persuade you to leave the day’s work behind and entertain yourself instead.

Turn the Home into a Series of Rewards

The great thing about working from home, amid all of those distractions, is that they can be turned into a reward system that promotes meeting specific, daily productivity goals. If you’re in a freelance occupation which operates on a per-project basis, tie your day’s goals to monetary values. Once you have reached a quarter of your day’s goal, allow yourself a half-hour of television. At the halfway mark, enjoy lunch or a snack from the kitchen. When you’re almost there — perhaps three-quarters of the way — go outside for a walk or read a few pages of your favourite book on the couch.

The home is full of distractions, but that doesn’t always result in bad things. Indeed, business is all about making your market — and your environment — work for you. In the case of a home business, a home’s amenities can be used just as easily for “good” as they can for “evil.”

Work When You Like to Work

Office environments are rigid: everyone is expected to show up at 8am or 9am, and they’re expected to stay until the end of their shift at 5pm or 6pm. There is no flexibility, nor any concern with when and how each employee functions at their top level of performance. A home business, however, gives owners the ability to choose their own working hours. And while that can certainly mean they may choose to never work — and thus lose out on key income — it also means that they can choose to work during the time when they feel most productive and motivated.

Some people simply are not “morning people” while others don’t like to do much of anything after lunch. Wake up early, or wake up late, and work when your body most enjoys working. You’ll find that you complete tasks quicker, at a higher quality level, and actually need to put in less hours per day to accomplish the same amount of tasks that many people dedicate 8 or 9 hours to. This is perhaps one of the biggest perks of having no boss dictating when work should optimally get done.

Don’t Overload Yourself

Finally, be sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Motivation is a truly wonderful thing, and you should be congratulated for taking initiative and assuming a large amount of responsibility. But if you frequently set goals which are too ambitious or lofty for your own work habits and abilities, you’ll routinely miss your goals. That will lead to a lack of motivation and a feeling of failure — and those feelings can be self-fulfilling after a while, leading you to be less productive overall. They may even cost you your business. Set moderate and easily-achievable goals each day that still help you afford your lifestyle. If you go above and beyond those goals, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your added success. If not, you’ve still met your original goal and done everything you set out to do the day — and that’s a good feeling, too.

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