Working from home is a dream come true for most. Thoughts of simpler times and easier work - life balance, conference calls in your pajamas and uninterrupted focus on your work. Well, think again. Before you know it the lines between work and life begin to get blurred as you start to be pulled in multiple directions and are faced with choices such as "should I put in a load of laundry before I start this proposal", or "Should I plan dinner before inputting my business expenses". These are real world examples of what happens in home based businesses and before you know it, there are unforeseen distractions, lack of balanced time and sometimes, a lost identity since many relate who they are with want they do. But don't give up just yet; here are 10 tips to keep you on track and to be more productive in your home business.
1. Declare a specific work space
Maintain a separate and dedicated workspace that you can use when you are in "work mode". This is a place that you condition yourself that when you are in, you are to be 100% focused on work activities.
2.Set a work schedule
Make sure to structure your day so you are not pulled in different directions. Try to schedule your day and isolate a specific work schedule that works for you and your lifestyle. If you want to go to the gym everyday for an 11 o'clock yoga class, then work that into your schedule. Perhaps your workday starts at noon. One of the benefits of working from home is that you get to set your own schedule, just make sure you set a firm schedule and keep to it.
3.Outsource what you can
Streamline your business and outsource what you can. Hire a virtual assistant who can handle the administrative tasks which will allow you to focus on building your business. If you try to do everything yourself, you will soon realize that you are working long hours.
When you are at your workspace, stay focused. Make sure other members of the household know that you are in the "zone" and that you are not to be interrupted. Keep all of your personal stuff away from your workspace and stay 100% committed to getting your work done for the day.
5.Beware of the "needy" people
When people hear you are working from home, they often envision that you are lying around on the couch eating snacks and will begin to ask favors of you since they are stuck in their office. Don't fall into the trap of the needy people. During your work hours, you are working and be firm when your friends ask you to check on their pets, or wait for the cable guy or run errands for them. Treat your business as though you also have a job and set those boundaries up in the beginning.
6.Break for people
One of the benefits of working in an office is that you are around people. Don't isolate yourself from others. Take moments to join your friends for lunch or participate in classes. Surround yourself with others when you can so you can stay motivated, connected and engaged.
7.Group errands and tasks
Try to minimize your "out of office" time but grouping your errands together. Rather than a bunch of in and out of the house, set out to complete all of your errands in one complete swoop. This way, you will manage your time better.
Be sure to use technology in your business. This will give the impression that you are bigger than you are and cut down expenses. Nowadays, you can have virtual meetings, send documents electronically and collaborate with others in an online environment. Just remember to have separate lines for yourself and your business.
9.Manage your administrative time
Checking emails, social media, returning phone calls, putting together reports and checking blackberry can be time wasters. Be sure to manage your time. Select three times a day that you check email s and that is the only time you check them. If you fall victim to checking emails as soon as they come in, before you know it, the day is gone.
10.Set your own pace to your own moods
This is your dream. Be sure to live it. Create a business that works for you and what you want just be sure to treat it as a business and stay focused and disciplined.