5 Productivity Boosters for Your Home Business

5 Productivity Boosters for Your Home Business

5 Productivity Boosters for Your Home Business

How to Get the Most from Your Home Office  

According to Forbes, in the United States, there are close to 28 million small businesses—52 per cent of which are based in people’s homes. Because of the freedom and independence it offers, more and more Americans are turning to self-employment, and working from home just seems like a natural choice to help reduce overhead costs—after all, why pay rent on an office when you’re already paying for a living space? It just makes good sense.
But there are challenges when it comes to running a home business, and chief among them is fostering the same degree of productivity that you’d find in a traditional office. While it’s certainly very possible to be successful working from home, you have to work hard, and you have to work smart. Here are some of the best ways to boost your productivity in your home office:

1. Separate Your “Work” Space from Your “Living” Space  

One of the biggest challenges owners of home businesses face is staying focused on their job during the allotted time. If you work in the space you share with your family, it can be incredibly tempting to spend time with them. Even if you live alone, everything from chores to entertainment can become a potential distraction. And while yes, it may be immensely satisfying to binge The Office on Netflix for the forty-seventh time, it’s not going to help you reach your long-term goals if you do it during working hours. You must create a distinct separation between home life and work, and the best way to do this is to set up a designated workspace within your home—in a spare room, in the basement, in the garage; it can be anywhere, so long as it is conducive to productivity. Keep this area clean, and only give it what it needs to get the job done.

2. Be Aware of Comfort and Ergonomics  

Something that is so often overlooked in the home office is, incidentally, a common complaint of traditional offices: that it’s just not comfortable enough. A chair without proper support, a desk so short you have to stop to work, craning your neck to see your monitor — these are all things that can lead to pain, fatigue, and repetitive stress injuries. Comfort at work isn’t just a luxury, but rather an asset that helps you keep your focus where it belongs. Invest in a good chair. Make sure your desk is set up so that it promotes you to use a comfortable posture. And place the tools you use within comfortable reach so you’re not wasting time getting up constantly.

3. Dress for Work  

This is more of a psychological trick, but one that many people swear by. It can be difficult to keep work and home life separate when they exist in the same building. By dressing for work, you’re telling yourself that it’s time to get down to business — and inversely, you can easily shut off by changing again at the end of the day. Whether it’s business casual attire or even just a special “work” outfit (some people even choose a jumpsuit for this purpose), this is a trick worth trying on for size.

4. Change the Scene  

Just because you have a home business, doesn’t mean you’re restricted to working from home. As long as you can still document your effort and time spent on a mobile app, you can work from anywhere. Some days you may find yourself having a mental block, and a great way to get out of it is a change of atmosphere. Grab your laptop and some headphones and head to Starbucks or another local coffee shop. Go to the library, or a park (if you don’t need Wi-Fi), or anywhere where you think you’ll be empowered to be productive. Don’t be afraid to go mobile, and when you do return to your regular workspace, you may find yourself refreshed.

5. Never Neglect Your Personal Life  

Maintaining a balance between work and your personal life is important, and if you let the latter slide, the former may come tumbling down with it. The first step is creating (and respecting) clear boundaries between the two. Setting up a dedicated space and having some kind of uniform help in this department, but it doesn’t stop there. Taking care of yourself and your needs during your personal time can go a long way, too. Get some exercise, eat well, read that book you’ve been talking about wanting to read, spend time with family and friends, go out and dance, get plenty of sleep; what matters is that you don’t let work take over your life, because nothing kills your passion for the job more than burning out too quickly.
Working from home can be incredibly challenging, but when it works out just right, it’s also incredibly rewarding. When you work smart, you can boost your productivity, and get amazing results.

Original article from ClickTime.

How to focus on the right stuff

How to focus on the right stuff

How much of your time do you spend focusing your time and energy on stuff you have no influence over? Honestly, how much?

In every situation there will be things that you can control, things that you can influence and then things that you have no control over. Knowing which is which saves your time, your energy and often your sanity.

When you feel like you’re hitting your head against the proverbial wall or not having the impact you want, do a quick review of the situation by asking yourself these 3 questions:

1 What things are outside your control?

These may include your workmate’s reactions, their thoughts, the structure and environment at work, budget cuts or even the current state of the market.

2 What things are directly in your control?

These might include how you’re thinking about the situation, how you are reacting and what you are prepared to do about it.

3 What can you do to change this situation for the better?

Make a list of all the things you could do to change the situation that are either in your control or things you can influence. Then identify just 3 things that will have the biggest impact and do them.

So next time you are getting worked up over something or feeling stuck, ask yourself these 3 questions to get proactive on the right stuff.

Use these simple tips to focus your energy on where you can make the most difference!

Adapted from Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, see more at https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits-habit1.php

How to prioritise and get stuff done

How to prioritise and get stuff done

You have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in the week and you likely spend a good chunk of them asleep. Getting the most out of your waking hours is about getting clear on what your priorities are and organising your time around them. Organisation is not magic, it just makes life smoother.

1 Start with your goals

Get clear on what’s most important to you in the tangible future. Choose a timeframe that works best for you – you might prefer 12 months, 6 months, or even 3 months. Identify your top 3 priorities for this timeframe and how you will track your progress. Write these 3 priorities in big, colourful letters on a large piece of paper and stick it on your wall where you’ll see it every day. This will serve as a good reminder to keep your goals top of mind.

2 Know what’s important versus urgent

No matter what your job is you’re likely responding to what is most urgent whether it’s important or not. You become busy being busy. You may be spending way too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

Of the 7 habits popularised by Stephen Covey, his “First Things First” approach to prioritising your efforts is most helpful. This simple little matrix helps you plan out where to spend your time most effectively.

To use the matrix, map out your tasks on a weekly or bi-weekly basis by placing them into the relevant boxes based on importance and urgency. If you’re like most of our Superheros, you might just have learnt that you spend a lot of your time fire-fighting and not much time on the stuff that matters to you most. So what do you do?

3 Schedule your priorities

Now you know your top 3 priorities, the key to being effective is to step back and re-focus your time and energy on doing tasks that help you work towards these goals. Proactively schedule “quality work” time to do activities that are important to you but not necessarily urgent. Block in two 45-60 minute sessions into your daily schedule, ideally at times when you feel most energetic. You may be surprised how much progress you can make towards your goals in just 120 minutes a day!

Use these simple tips to get organised and make your life smoother.