Managing a productive work-from-home schedule is vital if you want to build a lifestyle business—that is, a business you can run from anywhere and on your own timeframe — and if you want to pitch or establish a successful work from home program with your current employers.
But doing this successfully takes patience and a little bit of practice to get right. Below are three simple steps to help you create a work schedule from home and be productive.
1. Find your ideal work zone.
In order to effectively get work done when you work from home, you need to know what your ideal workspace consists of.
Do you find creative stimulation when there’s a lot of background noise, or music? Or do you prefer absolute peace and quiet?
If you have a laptop, you might want to work at the kitchen table, while other times you need to concentrate in your well-light home office.
You also want to think about the area around you. Is it too cold, or hot? Is it too dark, or is there too much clutter around? All of these factors will determine where you can set up your office and how you’ll be most productive.
Albert Einstein states, that “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind,” so the first step to finding your perfect work space is to create a place of zen. Creating a successful work-at-home schedule requires you to find the right atmosphere to unleash your creative juices.
2. Create a time journal.
What do you REALLY do with your time all day? Unless you keep a journal or calendar of some sort, you won’t know for sure. You may think you know how your time is being spent, but you could be wasting more time than you realize—and time is money for a small business owner!
Use something like Google Calendar, an agenda planner or even a regular notebook to record where you spend your time over the next 7 days. You’ll be able to see what your productivity roadblocks are and if there are times of the day you have more (or less) energy.
Working with your mind and body’s own ebbs and flows, will ensure you get more work done in less time, while creating a happier and stress-free work zone. It’s all about working smarter not harder.
3. Block out time for breaks and eating.
In other words, you need to set consistent work boundaries for yourself, your friends and your family. No more skipping lunch time, or coffee breaks just because you work at home. Your mind and body both need to have a break to recharge, and they need to be refueled with good food.
Another huge roadblock you’ll encounter when working from home is distractions with your family members and friends.
They may not be respectful of your business, so you may need to gently remind them. It’s vital you openly communicate about your work time, and that you block out time for play too.
Once you apply these three simple tactics, you could dramatically, and quickly, increase your productivity—and income! Start with finding a zen workspace in your home, then track where you spend your time to ensure maximum efficiency.
Next, remember that it’s important to work hard, but play hard too. And don’t forget to refuel your mind and body with good food and energizing workouts. Sometimes it’s the simplest changes that make the biggest impact!