This post is for people who work from home and want to get more of their important work done, so they can achieve their business goals.
I’m somebody who has struggled with procrastination and lack of productivity for a long time. So at first I wasn’t sure if this was a topic I was qualified to write about. But I figured that I do enough important stuff to keep my business earning me a good living, so maybe I am selling myself short.
After all, true productivity isn’t about spending a ton of time on busy work. It’s about prioritizing tasks and getting the most important things done that give you the most leverage going forward.
So – this all being the case, here are my top 5 tips for being productive in your online business when you work from home.
Tip 1 – Create A Work Space Dedicated To Your Business
When I first decided that I wanted to work from home it sounded great because I really hated working in a regular job where I had a boss and managers telling me what to do and all that. Who has got time for that nonsense!?
Anyhow it was great at first, but if you live with other people then they will likely interrupt you a lot if you try to work in common areas. Trust me, its hard to focus on important business when your wife or girlfriend is trying to have a conversation with you, or if your kids are running around.
For a while I thought I needed to rent an office space outside my house so that I had a specific space where I knew nobody would bother me. However, that started to feel a bit like “work” so I have since switched to working in a large room that I try to use only for business. That way when I go down there into my office I know that I am there to get work done.
Tip 2 – Plan Out Meals Ahead Of Time
When I started meeting a lot of young entrepreneurs I was a little surprised that almost all of them are into eating really healthy too.
But regardless of whether you like to eat healthy or not it is very helpful to plan out your meals ahead of time so that you stay fueled while you are working and have food ready to go so that you don’t need to take long breaks to cook or go out and get food.
Ideally I think its a good idea to figure out what kinds of food are best for you personally in terms of giving you steady energy and helping you to feel your best.
I like to cook up a big pan of organic chicken breasts and then I have a quality protein source handy at all time that I can quickly heat up and eat with whatever condiments I’m in the mood for. I also keep cooked rice and oatmeal on hand for carbs.
That way I always have the basics on hand if I don’t feel like cooking or going out and I want to keep working with some good fuel.
I also keep a Vitamix blender, bananas, frozen berries and that kind of stuff on hand for a nice anti-oxidant smoothie.
You can even throw baby kale or broccoli sprouts in there if you want to get fancy.
Tip 3 – Get Started Early
I’ve always considered myself a “night-person” and I’ve worked some bizarre hours over the years, both as an employee and as a business owner. A few years ago I was getting most of my work done between 10pm and 3am if you can believe that!
However, I have recently come to the conclusion that I feel a lot saner, and am more productive when I get the bulk of my work done before noon… That way I can be sure that I get my scheduled tasks done before the day can get away from me and distractions can rear their ugly heads.
If you can get up at 6 ot 7, hit the gym and then grind from 9 to 2 then you can potential have the second half of the day to relax and attend to family and personal pursuits.
Tip 4 – Hit The Gym
As mentioned in the last tip, hitting the gym can be great for your productivity. I won’t go into all of the science behind this, but as I understand it, getting your blood pumping can really help your brain to function better so you can think more clearly and effectively.
Working out is also great for your self confidence and sense of general well-being and happiness. Factor in the likelihood that exercise will help you to stay slim, toned and healthy and it starts looking more and more important to schedule an exercise session into most of your workdays.
If you are healthy enough to exercise (and I hope you are) the I think that you should give it a try as I assume that short daily workouts would undoubtedly have many positive effects on your life, and a very positive impact on your business success. As always you should consult with a qualified healthcare professional before starting or stopping any medication, supplement or exercise regimes.
Tip 5 – Plan Daily Tasks Monthly and Weekly
If you are an entrepreneur of any sort then I don’t have to tell you about the importance of goal setting. One thing I picked up a while ago was the importance of planning what you are going to be working on specifically on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
The way I do it is to plan out what I want to accomplish in a year, and plan out the major tasks that I need to do to reach those goals on a month by month basis. Then at the end of the month I plan out what I’ll be focusing on during the next month week by week.
And finally, once I have my next month planned out I plan out the most important tasks that I need to do in the next week on a day by day basis. This way when I get up in the morning I can look at my daily index card and see an outline of my top 3-5 tasks that I need to get done that day to keep things moving forward.
Some people plan things out hour by hour too, but I’m not quite there yet. I figure that so long as you know what hours you are going to be working and you don’t overburden yourself with too many tasks
Tip 6 – Use Index Cards
Yes index cards. This isn’t the most well known technique but I find it really helpful. The basic idea is to write down your daily tasks on an index card the night before. This way you have a simple snapshot of what you need to get done every day and the small size of an index card keeps you from including to many non-essential task or details.
Tip 7 – Set Rules About Email & Facebook
I don’t know about you, but I can log into Facebook, start looking at some posts, and before I know it I’m reading an article about something that has absolutely nothing to do with what I am supposed to be working on. This can be particularly difficult if you advertise on FB or use it for other business purposes like being active in business related Facebook groups. So ask yourself, do you really need to be on Facebook for work, and then if you do try to get in and out as quickly as possible without getting sucked into non-business Facebook activities.
The same goes for email. We all use email for work, but its very easy to start reading emails and get completely distracted from what you were supposed to be focused on. Ideally you should only check email once a day, after you have already gotten you day’s work done. If you can’t resist checking email the my suggestion is to at the bare minimum put it off until you take a mid-day break, and then wait to respond to emails until you’ve done the important tasks you have scheduled for yourself.
So there you have it – 7 simple tips to get the stuff you need to get done, done. Give them a try. I know that I personally would be lost without them.
As an aside – if you like the idea of being an online business owner/entrepreneur but haven’t built a profitable business yet check this out. I wrote a post about what kind of online business methods I think can be the most lucrative.
My new top recommendation is pretty amazing… You can read more about it in my post on the top ways to make money online in 2017.