One of the greatest threats to your productivity when you run a work from home business is procrastination. You will need a lot of willpower, but one way to alleviate the problems of not doing work is setting yourself a daily and weekly structure. Here is how you go about achieving that. Although you may not need the formality of a traditional workplace, you certainly need the structure to help you get through your working day.
Use Monday Mornings (or Friday Afternoons) to Plan
A great way to ease yourself into work and effectively structure it is to use the first hour of a Monday morning to plan your whole week. Alternatively, use Friday afternoon of the previous week to plan for the following week. You may not be able to stick to this plan as extra work comes in, or it is cancelled, but it will give you the framework around which to work. You will know what is required of you and how long you have to do it. When you know how much work you have to do, it’s easier to set those targets and easier to stick to them. A simple spreadsheet or paper list can be enough.
Working for yourself is liberating in many ways – no longer are you limited by the work structure of somebody else’s workplace. This includes when you can take a break and even if you can have a break. Yet breaks are needed to help you recharge. Don’t be tempted to work through your lunch break or not stop for a cup of tea. Set yourself a target to start and stop at certain times – for hot drinks, for lunch and even for exercise. Having this structure can help you plan more easily and keep your mind fresh.
Shut Down at Weekends
Similarly, to help you get through your working week you need to switch off at the end of it. This is harder than it looks when your home is also your workplace and you are surrounded by constant reminders of work. Taking your mind off of work at the weekends and not being tempted to do tasks, no matter how small, is vital in your continued motivation to do the job. Don’t be afraid to take an extra day off. You no longer get paid bank holidays, but you will need the rest that a three-day weekend can sometimes provide.
Set Boundaries with Other Occupants
If you share the house with others and they too are there during the day, you are in danger of not getting work done. They are a bigger source of procrastination than social media. It’s important that they understand that even though you are at home, you are working and need the quiet and the space to get your work done. If that means shutting the door to your office space, then do so with the instruction that you are disturbed only in an emergency. As discussed above, don’t forget to come out of your work space to rest and relax.
Seek Out a Local Co-Work Group
Company may be a distraction, but oddly, it can also be a great motivator when other people around you are also working. With the rise in the number of start-ups in the last ten years, it means that more of us are disconnected and don’t have that social interaction of the conventional workplace. That is where co-work groups such as (UK Jelly) come in. Typically, you would go to a public place such as a coffee shop to work together in company. You can make new friends and acquaintances, but it is not networking. It is simply having a change of scene for your work environment and some human contact.