Disclosure: I don’t use a Dell 😉
I can’t tell you how many times I get asked “How do you hold yourself accountable when you work from home?” or “Don’t you just end up watching TV or doing housework, instead?” And I can honestly tell you, the answer is NO. I set my schedule and I follow it because I know that if I fail to make money, the only person to suffer is me and the only person to blame is me.
If you aren’t a disciplined person, If you aren’t the type of person who knows how to prioritize and form productive habits, working from home most likely isn’t for you.
To provide a little more insight on both the freedom and responsibilities of working from home, I wrote this short article:
Many people feel passionate about working from home because it gives you the liberty of choosing your own working hours and being your own boss (or at least feeling as if you’re your own boss). Moreover, you may also decide to work on weekends to earn some extra cash (picking up freelancing jobs in your area of expertise, or developing your next product) and do a range of different tasks in a day to increase your revenue (no revenue cap is so seductive, isn’t it?). However, one of the biggest drawbacks of working from home is the large number of distractions around including household chores, people – especially kids (even the ones with fur) who make it difficult for you to concentrate on your work, unexpected and unbearably long phone calls, and many other things.
All these distractions reduce your productivity when working from home. Here are some tips to stay more focused, avoid the distractions, and be more productive when working from home:
- Find a place in your home where you feel more relaxed and more away from distractions; such as, a secluded corner in your bedroom or a separate couch in the living room where there is not much traffic, or even dedicate an entire room to being your office if possible.
- Depending on the nature of your work, keep all the tools and equipment you require so that when there is a need to use one of these things, you don’t find yourself lost and frustrated. I personally have a desk with a large monitor, my notebooks, daily planner, books for reference, and recording equipment all in one room, ready to be used. The only thing I move around is my laptop.
- If the sound of TV or radio distracts you from work, turn off these things. Better yet, don’t allow yourself to turn them on until you’ve completed your day’s work.
- Keep your laptop fully charged so that whenever you get time, no matter how little, you don’t have to wait or find a place where the laptop could be connected to the charger to start working. Or if you’re like me, keep charges plugged in and ready to use in the areas you’re most likely to work in. Aside from my dedicated office space, I also keep a charger by the couch. Even after my “work hours” I’m always available to assist customers, so my laptop is with me while I’m watching the news or unwinding with Netflix.
- Even if working from home allows you to have flexible working hours, you still need to follow a proper routine. I don’t have children, so my schedule revolves solely around me and the needs of the company. My personal schedule is wake, coffee, shower, mascara (yep, it’s important for these blonde lashes), work, exercise, dinner, relax (reading, researching for work, or TV) and I mostly leave playing/fun for the weekends. If you have children, or other responsibilities you’ll need to adjust your schedule accordingly. Let your significant other know that household chores and running errands cannot happen during your work hours. Set boundaries. There is so much flexibility with working from home, but structure and prioritizing is imperative. So, getting more organized also helps you to be more productive while working from home.
Do any of you work from home and if so, what are your tips for staying productive?