As an entrepreneur I work from home a lot. Yes we have a dedicated workspace for our team but whenever I’m not at the office I’m home – and you better believe I’m working. While working from home can be nice it’s not as easy at it seems.
Truth is, we are comfortable in our own homes – which does more bad than good when it comes to productivity. If you get too comfortable it’s common for individuals to become less productive. For example – if you decide to work from the couch you may be tempted to put your computer down for a quick nap or even turn on the television. That all said – there are ways to master the art of working from home and to stay productive. Here’s how:
Choose a Dedicated Work Space
If possible you should setup a dedicated workspace when working from home. If you don’t have an office in your house this space can simply be a desk in the corner of the room. The point is – you don’t want to constantly be moving your workspace. In addition it’s always best to work in a different room than your bedroom. Sleep experts suggest that you keep your bedroom solely for rest.
When choosing your workspace try to find the spot that you’re typically the most productive. For example – I like working at my dining room table as I can spread out all my belongings without having a cluttered workspace. If you find yourself working all over the house you’ll get less work done – it’s that simple.
Isolate Yourself If Necessary
One of the downsides of working from home is that there are often distractions. If you live with a roommate or a significant other it’s common to get distracted by various requests. Whether they ask you to clean the dishes or take the dog out for a walk these little distractions can really hurt your productivity. You need to set boundaries with people – both physically and digitally.
First and foremost – you don’t need to adhere to every request from others. They need to respect your time just as they expect you to respect theirs. Additionally you should set boundaries on your mobile phone and email. If you use a calendar application you should block out chunks of time where you can work straight through without any distractions. Yes you can respond if it’s an emergency but it’s important to get in the habit of dedicating large blocks of time for solid work.
Develop Your Routines
The majority of successful entrepreneurs all have a very similar daily routine. This is especially true for your morning rituals. I’m sure you’ve read plenty of articles on the CEO of X or the Founder of Y’s morning routine. Why are these such a big deal? Because how you start your day really matters. When you’re at the office – your routines are more standardized since you are working directly with a larger system of individuals. Most people arrive at the same time, take lunch breaks, and head home at the same time.
When you’re at home you need to set and follow your own routines. That said, it’s important to develop the right ones and be disciplined about sticking to them. For example – on days that I work from home I make sure I have all emails answered and get a morning run out of the way before I make breakfast. On days that I go to the office – I check my email first thing and go to the gym before getting in. Same ritual for both workspaces.
It’s okay to deviate from your routines every once in a while – but I can assure you that you’ll be twice as productive if you develop and stick to a routine.
We live in the age of freelancing and the gig-economy. As many entrepreneurs tackle multiple projects at a time it’s common not to have your own dedicated office. That’s why many end up working from home. If you’re one of those individuals reference this article to stay productive.