When you began your solopreneur business you may have chose to work from home, the thought of working from home appeals to a lot of people for some pretty obvious reasons. You get to skip the commute and have complete control over your environment, in addition to never having to worry about what the weather’s like.
However, working from home can present its own challenges, which you may not expect. Many find it hard to maintain the same level of productivity that they achieve while working in an office. However, with a few simple tips, you can minimize distractions and maintain a balance while you work from home.
- Vary the Scenery
In an office, you’re exposed to a number of different environments on a daily basis. Something as simple as going out for a lunch break or getting coffee means time away from your person’s workspace. The same holds true for things like going to a different floor of the building to talk to someone from another department.
However, working from home can easily leave you feeling trapped in a rut when you spend all day working in the same space. Because of this, it is important that you set aside time for activities outside of the house.
Something as simple as going to the gym or taking a walk can break the monotony and help you feel refreshed and energized. Don’t forget that there are many co-op workspaces available for telecommuters, as well as coffee shops, libraries, and bookstores that offer free or inexpensive Wi-Fi.
You can also do something as simple as taking your laptop and going to an outdoor space at your home to work or setting up a desk on your treadmill and spend some time there.
- Keep Set Work Hours
Being able to set your own schedule is one of the best parts of telecommuting. However, it is very easy to procrastinate if you have no schedule in place at all. The pressure that you feel when you work in an office can actually help most people get things done by a certain time. This is why it is important to maintain a fixed schedule.
However, if the 9-5 grind doesn’t work for you, telecommuting leaves you the freedom to work when you feel most productive. If you find it easier to concentrate after dinner, that’s fine. If you prefer to get up at 5 a.m., more power to you. Just set aside specific hours for nothing but work.
And just like in the office, don’t forget to take breaks! This helps you keep your brain fresh for any task. Grab some coffee, do a couple stretches, step outside for some fresh air.
- Get Rid of Distractions
One of the most difficult things about working at home is that it’s like a gingerbread house full of temptations and time-wasters, and this can be a big hindrance to getting things done.
The best way to deal with this is to create a dedicated workspace. This can vary depending on how easily you become distracted. Your space could be anything from a certain chair at the kitchen table to a whole dedicated home office.
However, you should eliminate any potential source of distractions from the space (like a television), as you’re more likely to succumb to the temptation to procrastinate when you can actually see distractions from your workspace. Clutter can also become a distraction, so keep your space orderly, you will accomplish more.
One more distraction to consider is family and friends, often when you work at home they think you are available at anytime to chat, shop, run errands and anything else you can think of. Make certain you put boundaries in place from the beginning, this will keep the distractions at a minimum as well as prevent hurt feelings.
- Get to Know What Works for You
As we’ve already touched on, not everyone thinks — or works — in the same way. When you work from home, you can keep yourself on track by designing your environment and processes around what helps you thrive.
It’s not just about scheduling, either. There’s no cubicle to work around, no open workspace to distract you. Now’s the time to consider that standing desk or an exercise ball to replace your office chair, or splurge on a double monitor setup. Do you need natural light, or do you prefer a darker room? Do you prefer to deal with email in the morning or at the end of the day? All of these are decisions you can make to help you stay focused and on task.
[tweet_box]Working from home is a wonderful thing for business owners, but you should be prepared for challenges and temptations. [/tweet_box]Then, take steps to counteract them. Make your space and your processes your own to achieve maximum productivity.