8 Top Tips For Working From Home

 
Stocksy_txp1efecd1fPx3000_Small_165336Solo-preneur? Flexible business or job? Work-from-home entrepreneur?

Whichever category you fall in to, if you work from home it can be hard to stay productive and focused, 100% of the time.

Like me, you may have an unhealthy addiction to reality TV, possibly easily distracted (“oh look! The cat just licked her paw again – I should Instagram that”), or you simply find it hard to concentrate amongst the chaos of little ones or a footy-watching husband on the couch.

 

Whatever your challenges, here are my 8 top tips for working from home so you stay focused and productive:
 

1. Allocate “create don’t consume” time

Regular readers will know that I’m trying in earnest to operate on a “create don’t consume” philosophy whenever possible.

It’s easy to get in to “consumption” mode where we watch, read or listen more than we are creating and outputting for our business.

Allocate time in your day where the TV, social media, emails and phone gets turned off so you can concentrate and create.

 

2. Don’t skimp on the tech stuff

If you’re working from home, you’re probably relying on the wonders of modern technology to communicate with your team, run your business and sell from your desk.

Don’t skimp.

Imagine how much your day would be impacted if your computer packed it in and you didn’t have a back up of your data, or if you’re skimping on the computer upgrade which may save a few dollars but decreases your productivity.

Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a licence to buy the entire Apple store on some reckless spending spree – but make sure you understand what you need to help you produce and do more.

 

3. Dress up & show up

With my fashion background I’m a firm believer of getting dressed up, even if no one is watching. There’s something about getting dressed that makes you take the day more seriously.

While I don’t totter around the house in high heels all day, changing out of my PJ’s and slapping on a little lippy makes me feel like I have “officially” started the working day.

 

4. Use productivity tools to stay connected

If you have a virtual or remote team, you need to stay connected. Just because they aren’t there doesn’t mean you get to hermit-crab and not communicate.

Use the many free productivity tools that are out there (my current favourite is Asana which lets you allocate and manage tasks with your virtual team) to manage your workload, communicate with your team and know where all your projects are at.

 

5. Pick up the phone

Yes, occasionally to achieve the best outcome you’ll need to slink out from behind those emails and pick up the phone.

Call someone.

Speak to them in person to resolve an issue, make a connection, follow up a client or proposal rather than leaving it all to be dealt with via email.

 

6. Create a work space

You’ll find your productivity increases when you have everything you need in the one space.

Don’t have a dedicated home office or study? No problem.

You can still create a “space” where you can collate everything you need to work effectively so that it’s in the one spot.

For example – get a big plastic wheely box to house your current projects, folders, paperwork, stationery – so even if your “office” is normally the dining table, you can easily pack everything away in to your box and then pull it out quickly & easily again the next day.

This helps you to get more productive in the morning as everything’s at your fingertips while not turning parts of your home in to a permanent office.

 

7. Know when to clock-off for the day

It’s often easy to just “keep going” when you work from home. There’s no “end time” to your day as you could literally keep going for hours – after all, everything is just right there.

I am the no 1 victim of this because I find it all to easy to just “finish one little thing” or to “quickly check [email / project / social media / website]”.

I’m trying now to clock-off at a certain time in the day and be fully present for my household after that.

 

8. Sometimes you’ve got to get out there.

Working from home is one of those flexible, lifestyle perks that we love. But it can sometimes be isolating and lonely.

Get out there. Meet other entrepreneurs. Go to a live training event rather than doing everything virtually.

Make it a point to attend networking events. It may be scary to go alone at first, but getting to events (I regularly attend Business In Heels events so you’ll probably find me at one of those) is a way to talk, laugh and meet new people that are all (not surprisingly) also looking for a little support and companionship.

 

This is YOUR space

Finally – you’re HERE. Right in this place, this blog.

This is a space that I’ve created for entrepreneurs like you and me to connect beyond the walls of our home — so leave a comment below or join me on my Facebook page. Meet some new friends in this space + community.

 

And if you’ve got some top tips for working from home that you’d like to share, let me know in the comments area below!

 

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By | 2017-09-18T10:59:44+00:00 June 2nd, 2014|Grow Your Biz, Start Your Biz|10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Beth June 3, 2014 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Oh – when to clock off!!!! You’ve got me. I feel guilty if I sit down and watch a tv show at night – even after ten years of working from home. There is the responsibility of knowing that if you don’t make it happen – it won’t happen. I have to force myself to relax and not feel the weight of the thousand things I “should” be doing. I have learnt to sometimes bring my laptop into the family area between 2-5pm, so I can’ be around, but still be achieving. The dedicated workspace is a fabulous place, which I didn’t have for many years, but I love now. I refuse to go there on a Sunday, and even my virtual staff now that they can’t contact me on a Sunday. Great points…..

    • Wendy Mak June 4, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

      Oh that old “can’t clock off now” chesnut!!! Great to hear you have some steps in place to bring balance back to your home work space!! Loving the Sunday’s off! Thanks for connecting xxx

  2. Cindy June 3, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

    I don’t work from home everyday but I do bring lots of work home after hours. I try to do this when the kids are asleep. It’s really hard to do because there is always something to distract me! I completely agree with getting the right equipment for working from home. I am struggling at the moment with a laptop that remotely logs on to the work computer but doesn’t display the full screen (an issue resolved with a bigger laptop or a desktop at home). I get so frustrated with the lack of efficiency I often just give up working.

    • Wendy Mak June 4, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Technology – great when it works and hideous when it doesn’t!!! Makes all the difference though. Hope you manage to find a solution! xx

  3. Rosa June 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Love this blog Wendy! Some great tips. I have been struggling to find a balance and also feel guilty when I’m doing anything NOT work related! I’ve recently re-organised a few things at home and allocated time slots to do all those things that not only need doing but that I want to do too.

    • Wendy Mak June 4, 2014 at 8:42 am - Reply

      That’s SO fantastic to hear you re-organised and are taking steps and action to help you get more productive at home! So many women feel guilty when we work from home – it’s tough but sounds like you’re heading in the right direction – yaay! xx

  4. Alex June 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    This blog post makes me feel like you have been a fly on the wall in my house for the past few months Wendy! I am guilty of so many points on this list! Great post and very useful 🙂

    • Wendy Mak June 4, 2014 at 8:41 am - Reply

      So glad this was helpful Alex!! And next time you see a fly in your home…. 😉 Thanks for connecting xx

  5. Nadia French June 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    I worked from home for years and now I have finally moved into a studio with a shop front for my own sanity! All the distractions of the day meant I was working very late hours into the night ( after all the kids and hubby were asleep) 4 hours of sleep a night was killing me! I still bring work home (because I leave my studio in time to pick up the kids from school) and feel guilty when I’m not doing something Work related!! What is wrong with us all??? Why do we feel the need to just keep going! My husband has to get cross at me like a little kid and put me to bed occasionally or I won’t go!
    Hahahaha it’s insane really 🙂 So nice to meet some of the other crazies out there.
    X Nadia

    • Wendy Mak June 4, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

      I hear you Nadia!!! The guilt-factor – most women I know are all so good at feeling like we “should” and “must” do XYZ – you’re definitely not alone there! I love that you have found a dedicated space and studio for your business though. Now go to bed!!! 😉 Thanks for reading + connecting!

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