Working from home seems to be the “Holy Grail” for many workers today. More freedom and flexibility, less structure, no one looking over your shoulder. BUT – you still need to get the work done. So here are some tips that might help help you find that balance.
Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” But what if there’s nowhere to show up to? I’m talking about those entrepreneurs who work from home. You wake up and you’re at the office. Just like “non-24” can make it difficult to sleep due to difficulties differentiating between light and dark, and entrepreneur may find it difficult to differentiate between home and office. These are six tips from Enrepreneur.com that should help you be more successful, have a healthier work-life balance, and increase productivity as an entrepreneur working from home.
1. Set and keep regular office hours.
Decide that you’re going to work, say, 9-5, and stick to that schedule as if you had to show up to an office. Often times, entrepreneurs working from home work too long, or work sporadic hours—two hours one day and all night the next. Some interruptions or distractions can’t be avoided—such as deadlines requiring extra hours or kids staying home sick—but these are problems that you would face in a “real” office. Also, when your scheduled work day is over, leave the “office” and let yourself unwind. Work-life balance will suffer just as much if you stay home all day and don’t stop working when the day is done.
2. Structure your workday.
Since you have the benefit of setting your own hours, structure your workday around the time you’re most productive. Everyone has their own natural rhythm—if you’re more productive in the morning, for example, start work earlier to increase productivity. You’ll also be able to plan ahead, and get your more difficult duties done when you’re more productive.
3. Dress as if you were going to the office.
Psychologically speaking, you’ll increase productivity and perform better if you dress professionally—you’ve heard it before; dress for success. Take a shower, shave, brush your teeth, and even put on makeup—do things that would make you feel more confident, even though no one is watching. This can make a big difference in how you conduct yourself “in the office” and “at home,” and help designate a distinction in work-life balance.
4. Set aside an “office” space.
Consistency is extremely important for the entrepreneur working from home. If you have a spare room that you can transform into an office, great, but the dinner table can do just fine. Make sure the space you designate works efficiently for you, and spruce it up with things that inspire you like pictures, plants, or candy bowls—basically, treat it like you would your office. Make it a place you enjoy going every day to focus and get work done.
5. Take breaks.
Take breaks working from home the same way you would at an office. Go to lunch or walk around your backyard—find a way to get out of your head. A benefit to working from home is having the flexibility to do things on your own time, but be sure to rein them in.
6. Avoid distraction.
Distractions are inevitable in any work environment, but working from home can present a few that may not be as distracting at an office. Kids, pets, and leaky faucets can all take attention away from your job. Also, working from home provides less accountability from others—no one’s checking on when you clock in or out. You have to stay focused.
Entrepreneurship can offer a lot of benefits, not the least of which is having a flexible work schedule from home. But in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance and keep productivity high, you have to set boundaries.
If you would like learn more about how you can make your business more profitable and your employees more productive by giving them the flexibility of working from home, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.