Regardless of what you do, if you work from home, the name of the game is productivity. If you telecommute, your boss is likely to be watching you like a hawk. Did he make the right decision when he let you work from home? If you freelance, your clients don’t care about your hourly rate? Did that fifty dollar project really take me three days to complete?
Yes, if you work at home, productivity matters. It pays your bills, it keeps you out of the office and it allows you to have a social life. Therefore if you work from home and you notice that your productivity levels are not as high as they could be, chances are you are suffering. And if you’re telecommuting, chances are you are about to get fired. Before the hammer drops, here are eight highly effective tips for getting more done in less time when you call your office home.
Don’t Become a Recluse
Work from home jobs don’t necessarily require you to literally work at home. Most can be performed effectively at a local café or a quiet bar. Getting out of the house on a daily basis is essential if you want to stay sane, let alone productive. If you find that you get more done when working in your home office, focus on going out in the evenings. Isolation and productivity never go hand in hand.
Figure Out How to Tackle Procrastination
Procrastination seriously harms productivity and problems with productivity can spell death for any work at home career. There are a lot of techniques that can be employed to fight productivity and what works for you is something that you are going to have to find out on your own.
For me personally, I have found that the most suitable weapon against procrastination is to devote a single hour each day to doing the tasks that I hate. Those tasks still take a while to complete, but they always eventually get done. Procrastination is more than capable of leaving tasks uncompleted forever if you let it.
Limit Your Time
If you’re paid per deliverable rather than per hour, your goal is always going to be to get the most done in the shortest amount of time possible. An important part of doing so is limiting the amount of time that you allow yourself to complete your tasks.
If you give yourself the entire day to do something, chances are it’s going to take the entire day. Whereas if you limit yourself to only spending four hours, you are far more likely to fit that task into that timeframe.
List Your Tasks
When you work from home, you don’t have a boss scheduling your day and this is certainly a good thing. Unfortunately however, unless you take on his role, your productivity is going to seriously suffer. Sitting down in the morning with no real plan is a recipe for both procrastination and missed deadlines.
You should start each day by listing the tasks that you hope to complete. They should be ordered according to their importance and completed according to their order. And any tasks not on your list should be avoided entirely. Provided you follow this simple system, you will get your most important tasks completed every day. You also won’t waste time on those that are unimportant.
Work Where You Work Best
If you think that you are going to get a lot done while sitting on your couch with your feet up, think again. High levels of productivity require that you sit up straight and that you are not surrounded by distractions. A home office can fit the bill perfectly but some people find that they get more done outside of their home.
You should experiment with working in different environments and you should establish where you are at your best. Regardless of whether it’s a café, a bar or your aforementioned home office, the important thing is that you establish where works for you.
Disconnect (or Pretend)
Most people that work from home do so with the aid of a computer and an internet connection. An internet connected computer however is home to all manner of distractions and you might be surprised by just how many hours you can kill telling your Facebook friends how great it is to work from home.
If you have the discipline to avoid the recreational side of the internet then by all means do so. But if like most, you’re a bit of a social media addict, you might find that you can get a lot more done if you only connect to the internet when your work actually requires it. Out of all the tips in this article, this is probably the easiest to apply. It also happens to be one of the most effective.
Tell People You’re at Work
If you have friends, a partner or a young child, it’s important for you to let them know that when you are working from home, you actually are working. You can’t do housework, you can’t do babysitting and you can’t go to the pub at two in the afternoon. Just because you don’t have to be at your office by nine am, that does not mean that you don’t have deadlines.
Take Care of Yourself
Finally, take care of yourself. Many people take working from home as an excuse to take less showers, to stay up until four in the morning and to practically live on their couch. Showers keep you fresh, exercise keeps you energised and eight hours sleep keeps you in straight thoughts. When you work from home, there’s no boss to get angry at you for looking like a corpse. That responsibility is therefore left to you. Get some fresh air, dead people don’t work from home.
About the Author: Brian Wills is a freelance writer and blogger. Through his posts he talks about SEO and internet marketing and believes that alexa ranking service is the most reliable page ranking service for checking the credibility and popularity of websites.