If you work at home, you’re living the dream, right? Of course. You get to make money while sitting on your couch, watching TV and running to and from Starbucks to get coffee.
Working at home requires the same dedication and level of focus that working at an office does. So, you need a little refresher course on how to improve your productivity while working at home. Follow these few simple steps and you’ll make more money, be more productive and learn what it truly means to work at home.
Step 1: Turn Off The TV (And YouTube, While You’re At It)
It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people distract themselves with television or YouTube. Aside from social media, television is one of the biggest time consumers for Americans. Many use the excuse that they need background noise or some form of distraction to be their most productive self. But, TV and websites like YouTube are just that — distractions. There are exceptions to this rule (like if you run a personal finance blog or website and you need to stay up-to-date with the latest news by watching CNBC or something), but for the most part, no matter how educational a show may be, you’ll have time to educate yourself at some other point during the day — preferably after you’re done working.
If you do need that “background noise” to help you be more productive, try some type of light music (it may sound cliche, but classical music does wonders — just give it a try).
Step 2: Find A Workspace (Your Home, In General, Is Not A Workspace)
Sitting on the couch and transferring to the kitchen and then to the bedroom and then to bathroom, etc., is not a good working environment. As much as we want to keep moving, we need a little consistency in our work routine to make sure we stay on the right track. Any of those places will work just fine, but make sure your space is free of distractions. Setting a specific place where you work in your home will help define a space where you work and only work. But be careful of which workspace you pick. Wallpaper, room clutter, spacing of a room, etc., can all distract from the task(s) at hand, even if you have designated a workspace. Making sure your workspace is as efficient as you want to be is crucial to productivity. If this means doing a little re-decorating over the course of a weekend, it will be well worth it in the long run.
Step 3: No Personal Facebook, Twitter, E-mail Or Other Forms Of Social Media
It may seem like a sacrilege in this day and age, but it’s true: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media platforms kill at-home productivity. Shoot, they kill at-office productivity, as well. Even keeping multiple windows open with multiple social media/e-mail tabs open will hurt your productivity in the long run.
This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate the practice completely from your schedule, though. If you can save time at the end of each hour to check your social media/e-mail accounts (non-work related), you’ll greatly improve your productivity over the course of a day. (If you were to take 10 minutes out of every hour and dedicate them to your social media desires, you’d have 80 minutes on Facebook, Twitter, etc. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it?)
Step 4: Set A Schedule (And Stick To It)
Each workday should have some type of consistent schedule. If that means you take time to eat a sandwich or meet a colleague for lunch, then, by all means, do it, but breaking every 15 minutes is probably not the best way to get your work done throughout the day. Also, know how to draw the line between doing household chores and other errands, and getting productive work done. Trust me, those chores will still be there when you are done making money, and you’ll have plenty of time to do them once your work is finished for the day. If something absolutely has to get done, you may need to sacrifice that lunch with friends to get it done.
In a nutshell, eliminating distractions and staying focused on what you’re at home during the day to do is tantamount to a productive work-from-home schedule. So stick to it and make your money at home!