If you read any sort of news or op-eds, then you have surely stumbled across articles talking about the rapidly changing workplace and what it means for the future of work. As more and more people shift to working from home, and freelancing in particular, more and more blogs, news outlets and organizations focus on what this means for individuals and how to cope with the new territory. Because so many of twago’s users work outside of traditional work environments, it’s important to manage time effectively while maintaining productivity. Here are 8 tips and tricks to help you be productive while working from home.
1. Have a defined work space
One of the most important aspects of working from home is having a work area that is completely separate from the rest of your home life. This could be a devoted corner, desk or room – whichever you choose, you need to designate it as a “work only” space. This will help you separate your work life from your home life and maintain balance between the two, a topic we covered previously in this post.
2. Set working hours
One of the advantages to setting your own hours is that – well, you can do just that. You are no longer bound to working from 9-5. Figure out your peak productivity times and schedule your most labor intensive work during those periods. If you know that you tend to experience the 3 o’clock slump, then make sure you take a break in the afternoon to avoid working when you’re not at your peak.
3. Make a daily to-do list + prioritize it
It is important to have clear tasks for each day. What’s more, you want to prioritize those tasks, so that you accomplish the most important ones first before you expend all your energy. A great tip for crafting your to-do list is to write it the night before, so you don’t waste time the next morning trying to remember all the things you need to get done.
4. Take breaks
We all know that it’s not possible to literally sit at a desk for 8 hours. Your body needs to move, and taking a walk or just getting outside is a great way to get your blood pumping and your mind working. Well-timed breaks are essential to remaining productive and not experiencing burnout.
5. Set up specific times to check email + social media
Similar to #4, you want to have certain times of the day where you check your email and social media so that you don’t get sucked into the black hole, otherwise known as the interwebs. Maybe you work for 90 minutes and then allow yourself a 10-15 minute email and Facebook check. Or maybe you decide to check your email every 90 minutes, but your Twitter twice a day. It’s up to you – just stick to it.
6. Limit distractions
Having a defined work space also means that you work when you’re in that space. However, it can be hard to work when kids are screaming, dogs are barking and phones are ringing. It might not be possible to completely eliminate distractions, but limiting them is most certainly possible and necessary.
7. Avoid isolation
As many freelancers know, working from home can be isolating at times. You need to find ways to stay connected, which could involve finding other freelancers to meet for coffee every once in a while, picking up a hobby like yoga or cycling, or even working in a co-working space one or two days a week. What is the most cost effective approach to helping you stay sane and productive?
8. Be prepared
This tip is more for beginners than for those who have already been working at home for a while. Either way, it is essential that you are prepared with all the tools you need before you begin working from home. Do you have a desk and comfortable chair? Reliable and fast internet and office supplies? Furthermore, depending on your job, you might need specific technology or hardware to ensure the smooth running of your business.
Working from home can be wonderfully liberating, but it can also be a big shock if you don’t plan ahead and budget your time and priorities wisely. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you successfully and productively run a business from your home.