My life changed dramatically when I began my online business in 2006. Instead of having a boss to keep me focused and on schedule as I went through each work day, it would now be up to me to ensure I maintained maximum productivity when working from home. If I could not do this on my own I would have to return to the work force.
I viewed this as a combination of productivity, time management, and focus on the tasks at hand. And as I progressed through my first year online I discovered that I was becoming something of an expert in these areas and could share my results with others who would benefit.
Today I was reading an article on this topic from Chad Reid. I’ve been following him for awhile and continue to learn from him. Chad is the Director of Communications for JotForm, a software that helps small businesses create online forms so they can collect and manage data. He has several years experience in marketing and public relations, and earned a master’s degree in communication from Purdue University.
His article is titled “7 Ways to Stay Productive When Working From Home” and I will share two of his seven ideas that are relevant to what I am discussing here:
4. Keep a regular work schedule
If you work with others in different time zones, try to set your core hours for times when your team is online so you can ask questions and get answers in a timely manner. You can quickly send someone an IM and get an immediate response rather than waiting until the next workday. Do you have trouble remembering to contact others or perform certain daily tasks? Add daily, recurring appointments in your calendar to remind you.
7. Avoid distractions and limit your use of social media
Do you think you can multitask by watching TV shows or sporting events while working? People can’t really multitask and focus on two things at once. Instead, your brain is quickly switching back and forth between tasks, so your focus and accuracy suffer.
You may also be tempted to “quickly” check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media apps or sites. However, you can end up spending a lot of time endlessly scrolling through a feed, watching videos, and clicking on links. This can derail your flow, causing you to spend less time on your tasks.
When I got started working from home I did not have a regular work schedule and that backfired quickly. Soon I learned that the scheduled days I detested as an employee were absolutely necessary as an entrepreneur.
Social media was not an issue in 2006, but over the next several years I made a rule for myself to not spend more than fifteen minutes in any given 24 hour period on all of the social media sites combined. This has served me well in terms of my productivity when working from home.
Working from home has many advantages and allows you to save time (and money) you’d otherwise spend commuting to and from work. By following these tips and other best practices, you can maximize your productivity and enjoy a better work-life balance.
If you have any additional thoughts on this topic of productivity when working from home I would love for you to share them with my readers in the comments.
I’m author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green. See all of my titles here and connect with me on Twitter @ConnieGreen. Be sure to go through my latest Productivity Challenge at your own pace and watch your business grow exponentially.