As a creative, I’m one of many who works remotely. Depending on the statistics you read, I’m not in the minority as it’s estimated that up to 50% of the American workforce does at least part of their work off-site. It’s only estimated that this trend will continue to rise.
But with dishes in the sink, laundry to be done, and Netflix calling your name, how do you stay productive when working from home? What are the tips and tricks to keep focused on your tending list?
1. Butt in chair simply doesn’t equal work.
It might sound harsh, but you know the truth just as much as I do. There’s many people who spend hours on social media, scanning site to sites, or simply in their inboxes. However, they rarely get anything done. Spend a week and track your time (there’s some great apps to help you do this as well.) Where does your time go? What is a worthy investment?
2. Get dressed and ready for the day.
You’ve heard it said to “Dress for the job you long to have.” If you have dreams of a running a multi-million dollar company, it’s time to start looking like it. Ditch the yoga pants, top knot, and tee for an outfit you’d actually wear to a normal office. Watch your ability to get things done, your mindsets, and attitude shift as you are dressing the part.
3. Set office hours and a weekly schedule.
Choose to work at a desk, standing desk, or kitchen table. Take the time to dedicate a space to your work and make sure it’s a space you love to be in and work from. Set office hours and focus on getting things done. With constraints in your mind, you will quickly be able to get work done and fit it within a period of time because you have to.
4. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Cultivate it as a discipline.
If you wait to approach your office and get work done when inspiration strikes you’ll be largely unproductive. See to it that you’re inspired every morning by 9 o’clock.
5. Have boundaries with yourself and with others.
With friends, family, and roommates this can be a hard one. However, it’s easy to walk around the house and find yourself distracted with everything else that needs done. The errands to be run, the laundry, the dishes. Stop yourself and don’t allow others to impose on a standard work day. Treat it as if you are not there. (i.e. Ignore, I repeat ignore the dishes in the sink.
6. Take a lunch break. Get some fresh air. Go for a walk. Take a 30 minute power nap.
Don’t force yourself to take a working lunch. Choose to take an hour break in the middle of the work day. It will increase your productivity and renew your mind. (Not to mention a bit of decompression from the workday.) Take the dog for a walk, spend 30 minutes at the gym, or a home workout will get your blood pumping and help you through afternoon slump.
7. Choose to find moments of time to be social, cultivate inspiration, and pursue community.
The life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely and wild ride. There’s roller coasters of emotion that come with every job, but entrepreneurship is like no other. Find moments to connect with others, cultivate inspiration, and pursue community. Here’s the truth-working from home and living alone is well a lot of time alone. (Even for the most introverted person.) Choose to cultivate inspiration and meaningful relationships as a part of your routine. It will allow you to stay inspired throughout the seasons of your business.
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