If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur or worker who has the advantage of working from home, you are still bound by principles of time management. Regardless of where you work, it’s important to stay productive. We offer some tips to help you manage your time and get work done from your home office.
Keep the Home Office Separate from the Home
This can be difficult, as your office is actually a virtual one, composed of your desktop or laptop. While you’re working from home, there are many distractions and the ever-present temptation of taking a nap on the sofa or climbing back into bed. You can reduce these temptations and distractions by designating a separate room in your house as your home office. Turn it into a “professional” space and put away your personal stuff from view. Place only a comfortable chair and table for your desktop or laptop. If you live in a one-space dwelling, place a divider between your workspace and the living area, and don’t use your bed as a chair or desk.
Set Goals for the Day
Start your day by listing your tasks. When you’ve listed what needs to be done, determine which tasks take top priority, then work on them. Try working on each task until they’re completed and tick them off your list. You’ll be surprised at the sense of achievement you’ll feel by ticking off an item, and it’ll motivate you to take on the next task.
When you get up to work in your home office, take a shower and get dressed. You don’t have to wear a tie or business attire, but at least wear something professional-looking. Doing the morning ritual of dressing up for work helps put your mind into a more professional mindset. This will also program your mind to focus on using your time for work as long as you’re dressed. It also helps that you won’t be caught in your bathrobe if your client or colleagues suddenly make a video call.
Design Your Workstation for Work
Another way of ensuring the productivity of your home office is to make your desktop computer or laptop exclusively for work. You do this by removing any games or distracting programs and files, such as your favorite movies. On the other hand, you can use apps like music players, as listening to your favorite tunes while working actually improves your mood and increases your productivity.
Insist on Not Being Distracted
Working from home is fine if you live alone, but what if you have kids or pets? It may be easier to address office distractions, but your kids, pets, or family members are a different story. Make it clear to them that you can’t be disturbed for the next few hours, and put a “do not disturb” sign on the door of your home office. Explain to them that you can take few short breaks to help out with household chores, but you need to be left alone and undisturbed to get work done.
Working from home is not uncommon these days, and it can actually be a good practice for business to increase productivity. If you ever work from home, the biggest challenge is to discipline yourself to manage your time effectively amid all the distractions.