Work From Home Successfully

As we at iHubbub know, home working has lots of perks; not least cutting out that long and boring commute and being able to roll up to your desk in your pyjamas if you really want to.  

However, to run a successful business at home it’s important to have shape and structure to your home working day. Rosalind Brookman discovers some useful tips on how best to do this. 

How to work successfully from home

Claim Your Space 

Firstly, and most importantly you need to create your workspace.  If you’re opening up your laptop at the kitchen table while your family are bustling noisily around you, you’re not going to get much done.  

Determine an area of your house that’s exclusively yours during work time, where everybody else in the house knows you are not to be disturbed. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office that’s great.

If not consider transforming part of your spare bedroom, garage or even garden shed so you can work from home in a quiet place of your own.

Once you’ve found your work zone, the next thing you need is a comfortable work chair and desk or table. You won’t be productive if you have to perch on a stool or hunch in an armchair balancing your laptop. 

Find A Way That Works For You 

If you go out to work then you are usually locked into a set number of hours, during a certain time period. It stands to reason you’re not always going to be productive during each one of those hours, but you don’t have a choice about being there. 

The joy of working at home is that you do have a choice when you work. It’s a good idea to work out whether you are ‘an early or late’ person and then shape your day around your most productive, high energy periods.  

Also, do you like to work at a steady pace, in shorter concentrated bursts or a variety of both across the week? These are variables that you can largely control so spend some time thinking about what is most likely to get the best out of you. 

Being task-driven, not time-driven is the luxury of the home worker. Instead of seeing how much you can get done in a day, and feverishly rushing through it all, sort your to-do-list into a ‘must-do-today’ set of realistic tasks and work through them.

This will allow you to fully concentrate on each one, knowing that you have allocated the right amount of time for what is remaining. Everything else can be moved to your list for tomorrow, and the same process applied again then.   

Turn Off Distractions 

When you set up a business from home all the distractions of your other life are still there.  Yes, that pile of ironing still needs doing or that garden bench needs sanding down, but remember that your working day is for just that ... work.  

 

You can do urgent chores when you’ve finished, just as you would if you went out to work. 

 

Facebook and Twitter are also great ways to distract you from what you’re meant to be doing. If you have them open on your computer then the urge ‘just to quickly catch up’ can often take up a good deal of time.

Turn them off during working hours, and catch up with them in your leisure time!

Give Yourself A Break 

Without colleagues to drag you to lunch, or an over-zealous health and safety rep ensuring you leave your desk for the recommended time it’s easy to get lost in your thoughts when you’re working from home. This could mean that you end up skipping a meal, or spending hours glued to your screen. 

To be at your most productive you need to plan regular breaks into your working day. Get out in the garden and revive yourself with fresh air (okay, November to March isn’t great for this sort of thing!) then nip into the kitchen to prepare yourself something nutritional and energy boosting for lunch. You’ll be more effective if you give yourself a chance to recharge occasionally! 

And if you crack something big – solving a long-standing or particularly frustrating problem, getting a new client or a big order – don’t feel bad about giving yourself a reward. You’re in charge, you’ve earned it so why not!

Finish work early, lie in tomorrow, go out for a treat – whatever it is, make sure you give yourself a pat on the back! 

Motivate Yourself 

In the excitement of starting a home business you may have overlooked the solitary nature of working by yourself; when things get tough there isn’t always somebody for you to share your stress with.  

Print out a list of positive reasons for why you set up a business in the first place and put it on your home office wall. 

Try some of these: 

  • I can decide my own hours and fit the hours I work around my existing life.
  • I can take short, energising breaks whenever I feel the need – if the sun suddenly breaks through the clouds I can grab a coffee break in my garden!
  • I’m not stuck with eating sandwiches out of a plastic bag for lunch – I have good, nutritional food on hand in my kitchen.
  • The success of my business is entirely down to me!

 

When your business at home seems a little overwhelming, have a look at it and remind yourself of how good it really feels to be your own boss!
 

 

 

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