There are so many benefits to working from home, especially when you’re a mom. It gives you an opportunity to balance both taking care of your family and taking care of business. Working from home, however, is a tricky skill to master. Getting distracted can be all too easy. Taking a proactive approach can set you up for maximum efficiency. The following tips will help you achieve optimal productivity working from home and allow you to fully enjoy the perks that come with doing your job outside a traditional office space.
Distractions come in various forms and can derail your workflow. While constantly staying connected is part of everyday life, you need to find a time and place for it, and scrolling down your Facebook feed likely isn’t necessary for you to do your job. To avoid going down the social-media rabbit hole, remove your access to it during work hours. This could mean physically deleting the apps from your phone or going as far as blocking access to social apps or sites for a specific time frame. Also avoid doing work in an area that is prone to distraction. Keep your work space separate from other rooms that have innate distractions. This includes places like the living room that has the TV you could alternatively be watching, the kitchen that holds all the food you could be snacking away on, or even the kids’ playroom where they could easily con you into playing with them while on the clock.
Prioritize and Prepare Properly
Take the time to prioritize and prepare for work. Before you start each day, take 15 minutes to go through emails, write down to-dos and organize priorities towards the top of your task list. When you have exactly what you need to do on paper, or digitally projected in front of you, it helps hone in your focus. Additionally, it can remove clutter in your mind and create more space to push forward with work. At the end of a workday, go over all the items that you intended to do and evaluate which ones will need to be done the following day. It’s okay if you don’t complete every single item on your to-do list. A workday can be fluid and other pressing matters may arise. Just know that tomorrow is a new day, where you can start fresh and push what you didn’t complete to the top of your priorities. If capacity allows for it, finish up any minor tasks at the end of the day that might help you immediately address the larger task the next day.
Create a Designated Workspace
If you have a spare room in your home that could be made into an office, take the time to create it into a designated workspace. Set it up so that it helps you do your job to the best of your abilities. For instance, say you work from home, direct-selling products for a company like Amway. You likely will need to be constantly in communication with customers or potential customers, which calls for a strong internet connection and phone communications. Set up internet and phone services in a part of your house that has reliable connectivity. Think about what your office space needs for you to do well. Perhaps you’re a freelance journalist. A comfortable desk chair and monitor with keyboard and mouse attached can make long days of writing easier and more efficient.
The best and worst part of working from home is that you are essentially your own boss. No one’s there to keep tabs on you and your productivity which can be both freeing and detrimental to your work day. Practice self-discipline and prove to yourself that you can do your job without anyone telling you to get back to work. Although it may be tempting to do the laundry or skip out of the house for a few to do groceries, chores like these are not necessary for you to do your job. Try to avoid doing them, or at the very least, designate a specified time to take care of your personal agenda. That way, you have a restricted time allotment for doing non-related work tasks that you can stick to.
The trick to working from home boils down to how you can stay efficient. From removing distractions, proper preparation and skillfully prioritizing your day, to optimizing your workspace and exercising self-discipline, you can finesse work-from-home skills to your full advantage.