As an entrepreneur, especially when first starting out, it’s highly likely you’ll be working from home quite a bit. Although working from home is freeing and allows for a lot more flexibility, being productive at home is not as easy as it sounds. That’s why we put together this list of tips for people like you who work from home on a regular basis:
1. Set your hours
It’s easy to let yourself sleep in and “get off” early when you are your own boss, so strictly set your working hours and stick to them. Your hours should also be recorded in your voicemail so you don’t have to constantly be on-call.
2. Create your home office
Invest in it if you have to. Your working space is a vital contributing factor to your productivity.
3. Dress the part
Pajamas are for sleeping, keep them that way. Dress as if you’re actually going into the office, because you are…your home office at least.
4. Stay focused
When you don’t have someone monitoring you or co-workers motivating you to stay on task, it can be extremely tempting for you to get distracted. If you have family and friends who you know will distract you, set boundaries. Take a break if necessary, or go make yourself a cup of coffee.
5. Create to-do lists
This should be a given, but since you’re assigning yourself your own tasks, it’s important that you keep track of what you need to get done, and what you’re actually getting done. Our favorite tool for creating task lists is Asana (hint: it’s awesome).
6. Take breaks
Take advantage of your flexibility of working from home. Go for a bike ride, have an ice cream break, get outside and stretch. Breaks are necessary to keep you going throughout the day.
7. Do things when you do them best
If you’re a morning person, it’s best to get all of your brainstorming done then. If you’re more sociable and upbeat in the afternoon, schedule your meetings then. Get to know your work style and do things when you do them best.
8. Try co-working
If you find yourself constantly distracted, or if you simply just need some human interaction, pack your stuff and head to a coffee shop. Surrounding yourself with others who are also working will help you stay motivated, and it will feel good to have a conversation with someone that’s not via the Internet. There are also a great deal of co-working spaces in bigger cities. These do cost money to be a member, but if you need that kind of environment to be productive, it’s well worth the investment.
A recent study in the Harvard Business Review shows that people who work from home are more productive than those who work in an office, and more people are working from home than ever. What are your favorite tips to productively work from home?
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.