Working from home is great. That is, unless you find it difficult to get your work done because of all the potential distractions. Working from home might sound awesome, but many people don’t realize the potential pitfalls.
Boredom, procrastination, lack of social interactions – they can all take their toll. In the end, working from home is not for everyone. If you think you have the right personality and skills for remote work, there are a few tactics that can help you be even more productive.
1. Don’t (always) work from home
Working from home may not be something you want to do every day of the week. In exchange for the freedom they enjoy, people who work from home sometimes find that they need a change of pace once in a while.
You could always work from a coffee shop, as many do. You could find other freelancers and work from their homes once in a while, meeting for work dates to enjoy the proximity and occasional chitchat that you miss out on outside of a traditional office setting.
One great strategy is to get a virtual office. Virtual offices are fully-functional office spaces that you can use as needed. You get all of the perks of a nice office space: meeting space, a room all your own to do work in before calling it a day, and even a coffee pot that you don’t have to fill yourself.
2. Time yourself
If you’re committed to the idea of working from home, you’ll have to keep your clients happy and avoid procrastination. One of the best ways to do this is to set specific times for specific tasks. It’s important to keep track of what has been done and what needs to be done within a specific time.
Let’s say you produce content for a client. You know that, when you focus, you can write an article in 45 minutes. Without timing yourself, it’s likely that you’ll allow distraction to drag this 45 minutes to an hour or two. Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down.
It’s easy to add hours to your days this way, to the point where you’re missing deadlines and losing clients. If you time yourself, you’ll get your work done every day.
3. Have a space set aside
Create an office space in your house where you do your work every day. This can have a beneficial psychological effect. Every time you sit down at your desk, your brain will know to go into work mode.
This can also help you when tax season comes back around. People who work from home pay taxes differently because they can claim a home office on their taxes.
If you have a dedicated office space in your house, it’s important that you claim it. The same goes for equipment and expenditures. Keep your receipts!
4. Set boundaries and stick to them
To keep productivity high, get better at setting boundaries and stick to your schedules. You are responsible for your time and work. Don’t postpone too many times and get comfortable. Stand by your decisions and learn to say no to meet your deadlines.
Define what to expect from yourself within a specific time and get things done all the time. It’s never too late to re-establish the lines between your work and personal life.
Don’t kill yourself with overtime though. Take breaks just like you will in an office. Give yourself a break. It’s important for your health. The better you get at enforcing your personal boundaries, the more productive you’ll be.
Working from home is great, but only if you are a self-starter. Use the above tactics to get your work done, and you may be able to make more money, in less time, than you did at your last job.