Working from home sounds like a dream to most but for those that actually do it, it can be a challenge to stay productive and motivated. Why would such a relaxed atmosphere make it hard to get the job done? It may seem that it’s so much easier to get through your work day with no commute required, you can wear your pajamas and you probably don’t even need breaks as you can just fly through the work and call it a day at 5pm.
The truth is, working from home can be a challenge because it’s tempting to take personal calls, run personal errands, allow yourself that afternoon nap or be tempted to sleep in in the morning. It can be hard to get into work mode when you are thinking about other things in your life that need done. You also have tried skipping breaks but you can’t stare at the screen that long and you tend to work throughout the entire day and night with no clear stop time. All of these challenges make working from home complicated but now there’s a few tricks that will change that all.
Get a routine
One of the first ways to fix all of these problems is to establish a work routine. It’s essential to have a stopping point at night so that you feel the work is done for the day and it’s free to have personal time. You also need a starting time in the morning so that you’ll hold yourself accountable when the alarm clock goes off and the personal calls during the day can be returned when it’s not work hours.
This common mistake of stay-at-home workers is a great way to boost productivity so that you can feel like a normal employee working during business hours and having established free time for the kids, those personal calls and your errands.
Treat it like a normal job
Many people try to treat their stay-at-home job like a free for all to do what they please with their work time. They think they can get their family’s grocery shopping done before their afternoon conference call and it still counts as a full work day. By doing this, you are sacrificing work time that could have been used to finish that blog, do some marketing or prepare for your meetings.
Save the personal activities for after work. Treat the day as only doing things you would normally do at a job. Otherwise, you’ll be too tempted to take it easy, get less work done, and risk your business’s success.
Don’t waste time
Of course it’s important to be strict with your working hours. Don’t allow yourself to waste time because you only get so many hours in the day dedicated to work and so many hours a day dedicated to your family. Make sure you are using your time wisely.
At the end of each week, reflect back to see if there were any times during the week you wasted time so that you can learn next week that it’s not a good idea to return personal emails during work hours or order those birthday gifts online during the work day. Each week, you’ll start to notice you keep your personal tasks scheduled for non-work hours and you’ll find your work getting done more smoothly.
Get someone to answer your phones
One of the biggest complaints of stay-at-home professionals is that they are always being interrupted by phone calls. They don’t have time to focus on one task and then the next because the phone is ringing and interrupting their thought process. Rather than trying to take your phone calls of clients that want to schedule an appointment or otherwise, hire a virtual receptionist to start answering all of your incoming calls.
They can handle clients that want to reschedule appointments and ask general questions. Plus, your virtual receptionist can transfer the really urgent calls to you now if needed. Whatever your customized needs are, virtual receptionists can handle it as you need so that you can focus on the task at hand. Return calls in the order you’d like at a designated time and the best part is, your virtual receptionist works from their own location so that you aren’t paying a full-time receptionist to work in your office.
By establishing a routine, hiring a virtual receptionist for your calls, saving personal tasks until after work and always keeping yourself in check, you’ll find that you get way more done in a week.