Whilst the freedom of having your online business from home or working from home often means that you are able to dictate your own hours, attend school sports day or work in your pajamas if you so wish…..it also means that you will need to develop super-human skills in self-motivation and how not to become easily distracted whilst working,
If you find your mind wandering to the clogged up drain or whether the dog needs a haircut, then it’s high time to read our top tips on keeping your attention focused on your business and regaining your work mojo!
Set up a dedicated ‘Office’ space
Set aside an area in your home – it doesn’t have to be a separate room – where you can stay ‘on task’, avoid interruptions and be ‘at work’. A big no-no here has to be setting up an office where you sleep – if you can’t separate your living and working space how will you ever ‘turn off’? Although comfort is important, you will feel more productive working at a desk than slumped on a sofa or bed with your laptop. If possible, position yourself near some natural light-this has been proven to enhance well being and productivity. Also, provide an area that can be locked away for paperwork, stationery and business paraphernalia so that you are able to switch off when needed.
Dress for Success!
This doesn’t mean hanging around home in a three-piece suit and tie or in your high heels but just take note of how you feel, say on a call – dressed in your PJ’s, in comparison to wearing something casual and comfortable but that makes you feel confident? Do you feel more self-assured when you are talking to suppliers/customers – if so you will project this feeling across? Clothing plays an important part in who we are – it causes our psychology to shift based on the way we are dressed and how we feel.
Build a Schedule or Routine
I know the whole point of working from home is that you are not answerable to anyone and don’t have to have a schedule, but to have some form of routine will help to keep you feeling in control and stay productive. This doesn’t need to be a written schedule – although when first starting out it could be helpful (or maybe utilize one of the many apps that are out there?) – but at a minimum try to have deadlines, meals and even gym times set out clearly so that you can make time for them.
Set yourself manageable and achievable goals and tasks that you can work towards – and complete these within a time frame. Weekly or monthly targets could also keep you on track and focused. Managing your time is the secret to staying on top of things – if small tasks eventually build up, they easily become overwhelming and unmanageable.
Don’t forget to Socialise and Network
We all need some degree of social interaction with other human beings even if you do believe that you are the biggest hermit around. If possible meet up with like-minded people to brainstorm or sound out new ideas. Find relevant groups online and meet in person to the network. You never know where this may lead. Take some time out of your day to communicate with others and initiate conversation, go out for a coffee, take the dog for a walk or go to the gym- the latter obviously having additional benefits!
Frequent working out has been proven to clear the mind and boost your energy levels – leaving you more productive and motivated when you return to work. Working from home can be a very sedate lifestyle – so do anything you can to get out there and boost your physical and psychological well-being.
This has to be one of the hardest motivation killers – internet pages that we are hooked on and can’t resist returning to time and time again during the working day! Although dogs doing the funniest things can be very amusing – it won’t get the work done! Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter – we all have our weaknesses but ultimately unless you need them for your business strategy, keep them to a minimum as they can prove to be huge time wasters.
Remove the bookmark or link from your browser to halt the initial reflex of ‘just seeing what’s going on’ with those sites. Maybe allow yourself a ‘reward’ of a limited time on these sites once the work is done and set an alarm to alert you when it’s time to turn off!
Finally, the fact of having no-one to be accountable to or looking over your shoulder is a liberating feeling….but you will always be accountable to yourself. If your livelihood depends on your business succeeding – you need to apply self-discipline and motivation whilst working from home and to enjoy it. We hope these tips help you out – let us know if you have any others?