5 Practices to Improve Efficiency and Productivity While Running Your Home-based Business
A lot of people don’t see “home” and “business” a lot in the same sentence. After all, most traditional businesses are run from offices, headed by managers or supervisors. The huge decisions are made by the owners and CEOs. But when you take business to the home front, you essentially become the owner and CEO of your own company, and instead of an office cubicle, you’re now running it from the comfort of your own home. In your pajamas. Any time you want.
Now, that’s the beauty of working at home. You get to call the shots from what you wear to how you want to operate.
But because home has such a more different ecosystem than your traditional office, you’ll find a lot of things that can hinder you from doing real work. Sometimes you just have to do the laundry first thing on a Wednesday or wake up a little later on a Friday. You’re also working alone so no physical office mates to chat with or a boss hovering over your head. That means you need to device a more systematic and strategic plan of action so you can make the most of your day and become more productive and efficient at home and at work.
1. Start Your Day Right
There’s no standard on how we should start the day right, but you can figure out how to make this work for you. Consider waking up one to two hours before everyone and make use of this time to set the tone of the day. You can draft your to-do-list, respond to emails, read and research materials valuable to your business. Use this quiet time to accomplish some of your work’s more urgent matters.
Or, you could start your day with a cup of coffee, 30-minute run and shower. Once you’re all dressed up, you’re ready to face the workload ahead. Perhaps start the day by reading a book or meditating. This way, you can clear your mind and focus on what needs to be done. Whatever you do, and however you do it, just start your day right.
2. Arrange Your Priorities
It can be tricky for moms to organize their day at home while working because the boundaries get messed up. You know you need to attend to this important conference call, but a crying baby or a dirty kitchen just seem to distract you. You end up leaving a project half-done to attend to your home duties, which also don’t get done completely too because you need to get back to work. This can be stressful and frustrating.
If this happens to you frequently, then you know you have a problem with priorities. What you can do is list tasks separately for both home and work and focus on 3-5 of the most urgent things. If you can do more, then great. If not, don’t feel bad because you have been very productive and efficient, both at home and at work. You can always work on the others the next day, but you still need to prioritize.
3. Focus on the Task at Hand
Focus is important whether your brain is teeming with new brilliant ideas or your TV is just too loud for you to work properly. If you want to do a certain project right, you need to give it your full focus. So if it happens that your creative juices are flowing, let them and write those ideas down. You can always go back to your notes when you’re not working on a pressing task.
It’s also important to minimize, if not eliminate distractions, for the sake of focus. Turn off the TV, put your phone to silent mode and don’t open tabs that are not task-related. After hours or days of hustling on your current task with laser focus, you’ll find it more rewarding to finally see it coming to completion. When you need to work, you need to focus.
4. Take Breaks
The isolation of your home and demands of never-ending tasks can get to your nerves at some point. If you find you’re not being good and productive anymore, stop and take a break. You probably just need a breather so take a walk at the park or play with the dog. Take a nap or run on the thread mill. Do what you need to do to release those stresses and bring in more energy and clarity.
If you want, you may even schedule breaks. Perhaps take a 20-minute break every two hours of work or make sure to 30-minute nap in the afternoon. Take breaks whenever you need to. You now have the command of your time, so don’t fret over small breaks.
5. Have Fun!
How dull can it be to just work and not have fun? You maybe too focused on your work and business goals that you forgot you still have a life outside it. Have fun and don’t even feel guilty about it. Perhaps call your best friends for a quick catch up or invite them out for brunch. Maybe you can cut your working hours tonight so you can catch a movie with your family.
Or, you may want to take the entire weekend off so you can temporarily get away from work and focus on yourself and your family. It’s probably time to finally bake those cookies and give yourself some pampering at the salon.
Whatever fun you have, don’t feel regret for the lost time because you didn’t work. Your work and company will be just fine without you running it for a couple of hours. It can even be beneficial to have a CEO who had fun because she now feels refreshed and energized.
We at 3 Steps Right are committed to helping work-at-home entrepreneurs make the most of their days and bring their businesses to the next level! Sign up with us and together, let’s bring your home business to success!