Working from home is something most of us have dreamed about at some point or another. The short commute, the pajama wardrobe, the freedom of to choose your own hours – what’s there not to love?
Unfortunately, the transition from workplace to home-office isn’t always as smooth and easy as our fantasies lead us to believe. The delivery man knocking at your door, the dirty dishes piled up in the sink, and the puppy eyes staring at you from under your desk are unanticipated distractions that can severely affect productivity.
Despite its inarguable perks, working from home is a blessing in disguise, particularly for entrepreneurs newly transitioned to the home-office environment. Whether you’re already working from home or are about to make the big transition, there’s no need to feel discouraged. By following and adopting the right tactics and attitude, working from home can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Let’s take a look at some tips that will help you increase productivity and better focus on your business’s success.
Follow a schedule
When working from home, it’s easy to fall prey to everyday distractions and lose track of time. Creating a schedule and following a work routine will help you resist temptations, such as long lunch breaks and frequent trips to the kitchen, which may otherwise impede upon your ability to complete the day’s tasks.
Be sure to specify the time and duration of your lunch and breaks. Leaving windows of time open will only invite excuses for laziness. If you’re planning to work an average 8 hour workday, ensure the majority of your day is accounted for.
Separate workspace from personal space
A popular complaint from people who work from home is the feeling that they’re always at the office, even during their off-time. By designating an area specifically as your workspace, you can separate your home and work life, making it easier to transition to a business mindset come the start of your work day.
More importantly, separating your personal and work spheres will allow you to continue enjoying your down time spent at home, a necessity for anyone come the end of a stressful workday when their only desire is to “leave work behind.”
Dress for success
Rolling out of bed and strolling into the office in pajamas is one of the more appealing perks of working from home. But although your office may only be feet from your bedroom, it’s important that you’re able to adopt a professional and business mindset at the start of every workday.
If you dress and act like you’re not at work, you’ll unconsciously fall into a negative pattern that encourages laziness and distractions. Starting every morning with a shower and a change of business-appropriate clothes will help you differentiate between work time and leisure time. Furthermore, basic psychology suggests that if you’re dressed for success, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself motivated to accomplish your day’s tasks.
While following a schedule is of paramount importance, it’s also essential that you allow yourself a few breaks a day. Barricading yourself in the office during the course of a business day may seem like the responsible and practical approach for a work day, but more often than not, this practice is only efficient in theory.
If you’ve ever worked an office job, you were more than likely treated to two or more breaks a day, either spent outside, at a recreational/break room, a kitchen, or some other relaxing atmosphere. Give yourself a mental break and follow this same practice at home. Office confinement may lead to boredom or unnecessary stress – something that can easily be avoided with just a few minutes spent outside your office.
Eliminate web distractions
Websites are one of the easiest and most accessible distractions that can affect your productivity during work hours. Whether you’re a compulsive Facebook user, a Reddit poster, an Imgur browser, or an ESPN score-checker, it’s important to maintain a professional, distraction-free workspace – and that encompasses your web browser, too.
At the start of each business day, close all personal tabs or windows, and if possible, try to use a browser or Chrome profile that’s exclusively used for work. If your personal email or social media accounts require attention before the end of the work day, optionally schedule specified break times for such purposes.
Leave the office
If you’re a parent, pet-owner or sharing a living space with a roommate, odds are there’ll come a time when even your home-office fails to buffer life’s distractions. When situations such as this arise, it’s best to just pack up your work essentials and hit the nearest library or coffee shop.
Although sticking to a work routine is best for increasing productivity, don’t feel confined to your home’s workspace. In some situations, it’s best to disrupt and alter the day’s schedule a bit rather than end the day having accomplished nothing.
Invest in quality furniture
Working from home mean you’ll be spending a countless number of hours in your office. Eight hours a day in a chair that hurts your back or bum is a surefire way to encourage and validate frequent, unnecessary breaks.
If your work environment is uncomfortable, you’ll only look for excuses to escape.
Investing in comfortable, ergonomic furniture will not only benefit your health, but it’ll also ensure your work-days are productive ones. Depending on your workload, you may want to look into purchasing a quality keyboard, headset or other accessories to aid in your everyday tasks.
While the above tips and practices may not be easily adoptable for everyone, take immediate action to implement as many of the above practices as possible and practical. As an eCommerce entrepreneur, your success is only as guaranteed as your commitment, so always put 100% effort toward ensuring brighter, more productive business days.