For a lot of solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, or side hustlers running your business is usually done working from home - whether that's a nice little office set up in a corner of your home, or on the sofa every evening with your laptop on a cushion in front of you. Staying productive, motivated and managing your time is something that all business owners need to stay on top of so as tempting as it sounds to be able to stay in your PJ's, have a lazy start to the day and spend hours on social media websites - networking of course! - you still need to integrate some structure and routine into your daily working from home routine.
I've managed to improve my schedule and manage my time in the past year and today I wanted to share my top tips on sticking to the rules, staying productive and being motivated to keep on top of it all.
5 time management tips:
1 | Create a Plan for the Day
For me, this is a must! Knowing what I am working on really helps me stay focused on the project in hand. Plus knowing I can "tick it off the list" is a great sense of accomplishment as well!
2 | Set your Deadlines
Allocating and estimating how long each task will take, and setting deadlines puts it into perspective for me. It gives me a "countdown", and knowing I need to complete "X" by a set time means there's no time for sitting on Facebook right now!
3 | Focus
The above 2 points usually mean I have to focus to stay on track. If all fails I think about the repercussion of not getting what I planned done for the day. That usually kicks me up the bum as I don't like things hanging over my head.
4 | Prioritise
Setting an order of play for the tasks you want to complete allows me to see what I need to do, I can then prioritise these depending on how long I think they will take. I usually try to get the small, niggly, tasks out of the way first so I can concentrate on the bigger task at hand. It also means I get to tick those little jobs off the list faster!
5 | Stop or switch it up
If I find I am struggling with the task, no matter how big or small, I tend to switch it up. I would rather work on something I know I am progressing on then spend endless hours trying to work on it knowing it's not going anywhere. Saying that, if switching it up doesn't work, it could be that your creative juices are running low and you just need to stop and take a break.
4 Tips to stay productive:
1 | Get dressed and ready
This is really important. Understandably staying in your PJ's is by far the comfiest outfit, but getting dressed and ready for the day provides a sense of acknowledgement that you mean business. I guess its depends on your frame of mind, but setting up my day starts with sorting myself out and making sure I am dressed and ready to face whatever the day ahead has to throw at me.
2 | Allocate time away from your desk to eat
I used to find myself slouched over the keyboard, food in front of me, staring at the screen, potentially sitting on social media, occasionally working through lunch. But I found this out the hard way and realised it is really unproductive. It's important to stretch your legs, give your eyes a break from the screen, and more importantly not have food all over your keyboard! yuk!!
3 | Focus
To help me focus and stay productive I limit myself on social media. I tend to check everything, network and schedule my social media at the start of the day. This then means I don't fall into the trap of sitting on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Pinterest is so addictive as well!
4 | Take breaks
Taking a break, going for a walk, reading a book, soaking up the sun... anything that gets me away from my screen for a short period of time really helps me stay productive. A fresh pair of eyes often helps and looking at the same task after a break is almost the same thing. 5 | Set your working hours
5 Tips to keep your motivation level up:
1 | Set a bigger plan
Achieving e a bigger goal helps me to stay motivated. Knowing I want to be free to do what I want at hours that suit me means I need to put in the hard work now and I am all game for that.
2 | Take each day as it comes
Obviously, I know it takes time to achieve the big goal, so it's important to keep in mind that every day will have its challenges and to take each day as it comes. Not every day will be the same and that is one of the best things about working from home.
3 | Reward yourself
This is really important. Working hard means I get to play hard. Whether that is buying myself a nice new handbag or taking time to enjoy going to dinner with my other half. Being able to physically see your hard work, and enjoy the benefits of it only makes me want to work harder.
4 | Beleive in yourself
Being a side hustler and working from home can be tough. There will be days of gloom and days of glory so it's important to always believe in yourself and your end goal. That leads me to...
5 | Focus on the positive instead of the negative
Every now and again we all need a little motivation. A little positivity injected into our thoughts, and for those moments it's always a good thing to be able to take a step back and look at where you are and what you have achieved, look at the positive things that have come from your hard work. I recently had a gloomy day and decided to design my own art print so I could stick it up on my office wall. If you want the "Hard Work Always Pays Off" art print - (it's FREE) you can download it here.
Working from home certainly has its pro's and con's, the main thing is finding your balance and figuring out what works best for you as an individual. I've found I work best when I have a list or plan that I know I need to complete for the day, it helps me keep focused.
So what works for you? Do you have a routine? Are you an early bird or a late night owl?
FREE art prints
In other news, have you downloaded your FREE art prints? These are perfect for your home, office, studio, or workshop!
Go go go!!..