Working for ourselves as either a freelancer or independent contractor is proving to be a rewarding and lucrative way to work whilst claiming back control over our personal freedom and work-life balance. Whether at home or at the office, there are never enough hours in the day! Staying productive requires discipline and focus.
Here are 7 simple and really effective ways to increase productivity while working from home:
1. Set Targets
Planning is paramount. Each and every morning sit down and set your goals for the day. Make sure your plans are realistic and make sure they are useful. When writing these goals, the more precision you have in each bullet point will provide you with a clear and concise focus you may need to reference again later in the day.
2. Perfect a Routine
Creating a routine that you follow each day can be very beneficial. Taking your lunch at a similar time each day or taking breaks before your eyes glaze over are all positive steps to achieving the most out of your day. It can be very easy to overwork when you work for yourself, so don’t forget to take the time that you need to recharge. In equal measures, make sure you know when you should be working and not playing your favourite console game or sitting watching an extra episode of daytime TV!
3. Clear Workspace = Clear Brainspace
When you’re working from home, it is very helpful to create your personal separate workspace. If you have the luxury to get set up in a different room or a garden office, this is an effective option. If, however, you don’t have the room for this, then ensure your workspace is clear of everyday life clutter. Invest in a desk and a comfortable work chair and set yourself up somewhere well lit and quiet. At home, the biggest distraction can be the family or house mates so consider this when you’re choosing where to situate your work station!
4. Find rewards in the tasks you DISLIKE!
There’s a danger of doing the stuff that you love. (That’s why we work freelance right?) We immerse ourselves in the work we love to do, forgetting about the horrible admin tasks that are a bit more daunting and less enjoyable.
If you get those difficult and daunting tasks done early in the day, the relief and achievement is always the best reward. By doing this, you can get on with the business you love doing, completely guilt free for the rest of the afternoon. (You can probably take the dog for a longer walk too because your productivity levels will soar!)
5. Get healthy
With that guilt free time you’ve suddenly reclaimed, remember to get up and move, walk to the shop for supplies or cook homemade food for your lunch. Working from home gives us the best excuse to enjoy our favoured lifestyle, complete with quality time with our families and friends and time to do more exercise and indulge in fewer take-away meals. It’s proven that if your health is tip top, then you will be able to concentrate longer and work smarter.
6. Manage your phone-calls to maximise efficacy
As your business starts to grow or as you start to work from home more frequently, you will need to consider how best to manage phone calls. Sales enquires, clients, suppliers and even your Mom will phone you when you’re hard at work. After a while, it is common to discover that dealing with every phone call as and when the phone rings can really impede your efficiency or completely break your focus. A simple and effective solution is to outsource your calls to a telephone answering service, such as OfficeHQ, to field those unnecessary distractions.
OfficeHQ can answer in your company greeting, act as your personal receptionist, boost your professional image, engage with your clients and even talk with your Mum! We will take all caller details and explain that you will call back, leaving you to get on with your job. This helps you avoid unnecessary interruptions saving you time and money: you can complete the task in hand and return your calls in your own time knowing you can give every caller your full attention.
7.Remember why you chose to go freelance – and enjoy it!
Working from home can really be a surprising discovery and you may find it’s not nearly as chilled-out as you might have thought… Working for yourself means that you’re doing EVERYTHING!
YOU have to continuously provide your services at the highest level and be your own marketer, sales person, business manager, project manager, accountant and social media guru, amongst countless other roles.
When working from home, remember to live the life you dreamed of: don’t be a slave to yourself! It’s hard work, it’s busy and it’s demanding, so it can be helpful to share your workload where possible to take some of the pressure off.
The journey to success is different for everyone and hopefully these productivity boosters will help you on your way!
OfficeHQ Pty Ltd
1300 ANSWER (1300 267 937)