Being productive is one of the great challenges of working at home. There are a lot of distractions, and usually no one to tell you to get to work. You may not even have an exact time that you have to be logged on, depending on what you do. It’s all too easy to let things slide. If you’re serious about your work, you need to plan to have a productive work at home day.
Treating your work as seriously as you would any other job is vital. You wouldn’t take random time off work in an outside the home job, at least not if you expected to stick with it. Don’t do that with your work at home job or home business, or it won’t get you anywhere.
Tips For A Productive Work At Home Day
There are a lot of little things that go into a productive work at home day. I don’t worry about what I wear, although some find it beneficial to dress professionally. That’s one of those “do what works for you” things.
Have something to eat before you start working. It’s hard to be productive when you’re hungry and all too easy to take an early break if you haven’t eaten yet. A good meal or a solid snack, depending on the time of day you start working, will give you the energy you need to get off to a good start.
If you prefer to start your day off with some coffee or other caffeine, get that too. You may prefer to keep your drink with you at your desk, but you can prepare it before you start to work. I keep a bottle of water at my desk so that I always have something healthy to drink.
Settle The Distractions
Who or what is likely to distract you while you work at home? The kids? The pets? Laundry or dishes? What about the television? Do what needs to be done to handle these distractions.
With kids, you may need to have childcare to keep them happily out of the way while you work. This may be as simple as having your spouse or other family member take care of them, but it could also mean paying for daycare. Older kids can simply be told to let you work during your work hours and to only interrupt if necessary.
Household chores shouldn’t be allowed to mess up your productive work at home day. Best is if you can handle them at other times of the day, or assign them as chores to the kids. Your spouse should also be handling an appropriate share. How these things are handled depends on the ages of your kids and your spouse’s availability, of course.
Get Some Exercise
A little bit of exercise before you start your workday can make you more productive. I used to walk my kids to school each morning, but we no longer live that close to the school. Two hilly miles in each direction is a bit much, especially for the kids. Exercise has to be more planned now.
A quick walk around the block or a short trip to the gym may be a good plan. You can also exercise at home with little or no equipment.
Define Your Work Hours And Stick To Them
Having a defined work schedule is a huge boost to your productivity. Starting on time is especially important. A late start makes it too easy to let other things slide.
Your Browser Can Help With A Productive Work At Home Day
Your internet browser can make it easier or more difficult to be productive. I have mine set up so that it opens with the pages I like to start my work day with. No irrelevant distractions the instant I start it up, just what I need to work. I may not always choose to start work with the pages my browser opens for me, but at least they aren’t giving me a chance to go in the wrong direction.
Don’t let social media distraction you. If you need to set up posts and reply to work related things, that’s one thing. It’s entirely another to start socializing with friends on social media.
Have A Plan
The more you know about what you need to get done, the easier it is to have a productive work at home day. You’ll spend less time sitting and staring at the keyboard, trying to figure out what to do.
There are many ways to plan for the next day. If you have a work at home job, what you do may be defined by the job, no need to plan on your own. In a customer service or technical support job, for example, your plan is probably to log on and help customers.
If you run your own business or have a more creative job, you need to plan. You can write out what you need to do each day, for example. You might have a daily or weekly routine you go through. A day might be set aside for a particular task that isn’t a part of your routine.
Having something of a daily or weekly routine is a huge help. Many bloggers, for example, will write blog posts in batches and schedule them out. This leaves them free for marketing and promotion the rest of the week. Others will prefer to write and promote every day. Your routine is something you create yourself and test to make sure it works well for you.
Some things will be of higher priority than others. Get these done first, even if they’re not your favorite part of the job. Sometimes especially if they aren’t your favorite part of the job. You still have to get everything done. Consider what’s most important to get done each day when you make your plan.
Keep Your Work Space Comfortable
Having a comfortable place to work helps a lot. This includes a good office chair and desk, along with pleasant decor. If clients never see your office, it can be all your style. If others do see your office, even if only over video, you need to to be comfortable, yet professional. Your decor shouldn’t get in the way of your productivity, of course.
Multitasking is not effective. Don’t try to work on two things at once. It’s not a good use of your time.
If you need to write something, write. Don’t have a chat with someone open – you’ll lose your train of thought. Background music is fine, but don’t try to watch videos while you’re working on something else, even if the video is relevant to your work. You won’t benefit as much as you should from the video, and your work will progress more slowly than it would otherwise.
Don’t Let A Bad Start Ruin The Rest Of Your Day
We all have bad starts to our days sometimes. The key to having a productive work at home day is to not let it ruin the rest of your day. You may have started work late due to a sick kid, your internet going down or other household emergencies, but that doesn’t have to keep the rest of your day from being productive. Do the best you can to work around problems as they come up.