Working conditions are changing and more and more people are finding themselves working from home. There are many different reasons for this ranging from the type of industry the work it, to owning their own business and not wanting to pay for office space. As a sales consultant, working from home come with the job. Here are some tip and tricks I have learned to keep myself productive while working in my home.
- Give yourself set hours you are going to work. This is really important because you want to make sure you are sitting and working when you should be on work for you job and not working on stuff around the house. You are more likely to be productive when you work for a solid two hours rather than 20 minutes at a time. This also helps others in your home know when they should not bother you. If you significant other is home and knows you are working from 10am – 2pm every day, you can set the expectations in advance.
- Have a place for everything. Keeping your desk clear of clutter will make it easier to get to work. Make sure you are only putting your work from your job on your desk, or make a designated area for those items so when you are working you don’t get distracted by personal stuff that may need to be done at another time. Keeping your everyday life outside of your work life will help you maintain a balance.
- Schedule calls during quiet hours. If you work and have kids home, try to schedule calls for a time when it is quiet in your home. This will help you be productive on your call and it will help the person on the other end of the call be able to understand you. One of the hardest parts about working from home is the interruptions from others. Try to find a time where this can be avoided to do your calls.
- Make a checklist or design a workflow. Most of the time we have repetitive tasks, like sending followup emails, checking in with clients, or even setting up calendar appointments. Make a checklist of the things that need to be done every day, week, month and put those on your desk. Also look into email templates for documents you send multiple times.
- Schedule a monthly purge. This is a good idea for anyone, not just people who work from home. It is important to keep your most current client requests easily accessible but the rest has to go. Most people who work from home do not have a full office, just a designated workspace so keeping up with cleaning out the old is one of the best ways to stay productive.
- Do the work around your home during off hours. One thing a lot of people do that tends to cut into their productivity is housework. If cleaning fits into your job, by all means, clean away. But for most people, throwing in that load of laundry or quickly cleaning the kitchen turns into an hour of picking up or cleaning.
- Schedule in breaks! When most people work in an office, they get disrupted for this or that. Although this could decrease productivity in the office, it is also a good thing. Getting up to stretch, walking outside for some fresh air, getting a snack are all great ways to give your mind and eyes a break.
- Cleanup at the end of the day. This will give you the ability to separate your work life from home life. Give yourself 5-10 minutes to wrap up for the day and be done. If you didn’t get everything done that you were hoping to, add it to your list for the next day and put it out of your mind.
One of the hardest parts of working from home is making sure you are not working all the time. This is one of the fastest ways to get burnt out so keeping yourself organized and scheduled is perfect. Treat your working hours as just that, business working hours.