11 November 2008, by A. Cedilla
Deciding to have a home business is a great step towards achieving self-reliance and financial independence. But when people start working from home, many times their productivity level drops. Why does this happen and what can you do to change it?
Most people’s productivity at work is a direct reflection of their peer group there. At work you had many people with whom to compare your productivity level. Now that you’re working from your house you often have no measure of how productive you are, so the tendency here is to ease up.
Also, there are many distractions at home during the day, which can lead you astray from your work. TV, newspapers, the internet, phone calls, child-care and laundry can push themselves to the forefront of your To-Do list.
One key thing you can do to increase your productivity is to plan your day out: write what top 3 vital actions you have to achieve for that day and don’t quit until you’ve completed them. Stick to your plan.
Some activities need a certain amount of time commitment, while other activities ask you to achieve a specific outcome. Often times it is better to set daily goals as specific outcomes. Because if you just set time limits, you would take all that time (and very probably more) to finish the task. If you had focused on the outcome rather than the time you scheduled, you might finish earlier, with better results.
Another tip to feel more productive at home is to dress like you’re going to the office. Each morning, get up, shower, and put on your game face. Wearing your work clothes will put you into a different state of mind — it’s a psychological set-up where you gear yourself up for battle, so to speak, and PJ’s just don’t cut it– and will make you more productive. This will be a concrete sign that now it’s time to work.
Having a designated office area is another important thing. If you can have a room that doesn’t have a bed in it — or a comfy sofa — to tempt you into a quick nap, that would be great. Also, make sure your office is clean, neat and has a door that locks. Put up a sign outside if you have to, one that indicates your working hours and rules. Like: Working. Knock only in case of fire or arterial blood spray.
Many people who work from home feel shut in. It’s important to get out of the house a couple of times during the day and go for a walk or drive — decompress and distance yourself if you have to, to avoid burn-out and getting so involved you lose the big picture. Going to the mall is great for a quick walk and seeing people. Heck, a quick walk around the block or a trip to the corner bakery is good too.
If you decide you really can’t work from home, look into renting cheap office space somewhere. In many office buildings you can find a room to rent somewhere, which is much cheaper than renting a whole office.
Working from home is great if you have the discipline to keep at it. It takes consistency and drive just like any other job, but it can be a great experience. Start by making your to-do list for tomorrow today.
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