It is a dream for many people to be their own boss. Working at their own time. Choosing suitable working hours. Don’t forget choosing your dress code since you don’t have to be in official wear all the time. Clearly, working from home is very enticing. It offers benefits that seem like the ideal choice of direction to take in a balanced work life. With that being said, a lack of self-discipline can really cost you. It is easy to pick up blithe and torpid habits while working from home. In the end, your business/work day may turn out to be ephemeral.
Discipline is perceived as a punishment but it is the foundation of any successful work day. It is impossible to stay competitive and keep yourself on top of the game without putting an effort. There is no shortcut to success. Working at home can be as enjoyable as any other activity with the right self-motivation techniques and tips. Increase your productivity and impact by:
1) Setting office hours
Unfortunately, many people who work from home have an inclination towards sleeping too late and waking up too late. Regardless of whether you are working from home, you still need to wake up and “get to work” in an appropriate time. There is a necessary transition from “home” to “office”. An early bird catches the worm. Constant tardiness becomes a habit that makes you unable to take your work and yourself seriously. The standard business hours is starting work at 8 am – 9:30 am. Be proactive like other morning people. You will be surprised how much you can get done in the day if you wake up early.
2) Dress for success
Ordinarily, your go-to attire when working from home are in your pajamas. Doesn’t that sound exciting?! It does to me for sure! However, I find working from home requires you to pull away from your comfort zone a bit. By that I mean, you are probably not going to feel or be productive when you are in the comfiest of clothes, aka your home clothes. Prepare yourself as you would if you were going to a literal office. Wake up. Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Stay clean and fresh. Dressing for success does not mean wearing a suit. Your clothing just has to be functional and comfortable. Psychology says that people adopt the characteristics of what they are wearing.
3) Make a goal schedule and stick to it
Your day or week should begin by mapping out a schedule for your business. A schedule outlines the steps to take to fulfill your tasks. Since you are the one who creates it, it is open for negotiation. However, it should be the framework for your work output. Let the tasks be manageable and accomplishable on a daily basis. Rolling over unfinished work to the next day can stress you out.
4) Stay focused
Working at home gives you the flexibility to keep up with social media and to answer calls at whatever time. Such habits derail you from concentrating on completing your tasks for the day. While working from home, keep off social media, your phone (as much as you can) and the internet in your working hour period. Don’t respond to every bleep. It is not a life or death situation. Finish the task at hand even if you feel like taking a cup of tea or coffee. Reward yourself with the cup after you have successfully finished your task.
5) Get out of the house
Working from home does not mean that you have to stay cooped up in the house. It is important to stay focused but it is equally important to take breaks. Actually, such breaks increase rather than decrease productivity. You’re not under house arrest in your own home. Take a walk. Go for lunch with friends. Go to the gym. Essentially, take some time off. It will do you well both mentally and physically.
6) Brighten up your home office setting
Working from home gives you the flexibility of decorating and creating a unique space for your work. Your work environment influences your concentration levels. Don’t work where you sleep. Separate your bedroom from your office. You will be surprised how much of an impact this will have on your productivity. I find the kitchen is not a suitable area as well because you can easily get distracted. Trust me, I always find a reason to want to eat! A sunny, bright and cheerful part of your house is most suitable for your office. You will be spending a lot of time in that space so make it as elaborate and colorful as possible.
7) Up skill yourself
For those working from home on a full time basis, learning should never cease even if you’re working from home. This also applies to people at the office too. Take time to learn something new every day. The most expensive thing beside education is ignorance. Adding on to your skills not only helps . stay up to date with the latest findings in your industry but also pushes you outside your comfort zone. For example, I work as a Marketer but very recently turned a manager and had to all of a sudden manage my department’s budgets. Budgets! Where do I even begin?! I immediately signed up for a crash course in accounting. This not only helps me understand what I am supposed to do but also helps me add value to my company. I can now make suggestions on where I can save money for the company.
8) Watch and manage your stress levels
The journey of being your own boss can be stressful. It is no wonder that many quit too early. Do not let the stress of work catch up to you. Keep to your schedule. Solve new and unexpected problems gracefully. Success requires patience and you will need lots of it. Infact, this is where yoga plays a huge impact on one’s life. I have always shared how much of a positive impact yoga has had on my life. My body, my mind and ultimately how I interact with others. We normally result to easier outlets such as smoking cigarettes, drinking and so much more, which maybe quick fixes but are not helping you in the long run. Just a simple 10-15 minutes of your day you can dedicate to yourself and wellbeing.
Working from home is associated with loneliness and isolation which is very true if you don’t take the right measures. It can get quite lonely and quiet because there are no co-workers to share jokes with. During employment, many employees disregard this aspect of work but end up realizing that company from other people is very important. Try and refrain from just hanging out with yourself. Sometimes that has a negative impact on your mindset. After work, go out and talk to people. Take a class or join a group engagement and interact with others. You will be amazed at the boost this will have on your psyche and productivity.
10) Have a side project to fill the dead space
Working from home can cut off your working hours from 9-5 to 9-2. Your day seems to be shorter when working from home. Do not misuse your extra time. There’s always the temptation to binge watch on Netflix or get distracted with other things going on. However, take up a hobby or side-project that makes you more productive. Use that time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Everyone has one of those. It could be photography, working out or writing a book. Whatever it is, make sure it adds value to your life.
If working from home seems to be boring to you, use these tips to keep you motivated and improve your business’s longevity.
Until next time loves!