Feeling distracted? Find out 4 ways to really get stuff done when you work from home.
Most entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of a dedicated workspace outside of the home — especially if we’re just starting out.
And, let’s be real: there are no comfier work shoes than my fuzzy bunny slippers.
But for all its awesomeness, working from home isn’t always easy. There are distractions and pitfalls aplenty, from that sinkful of dirty dishes to those tiny people that call you “Mom.”
So, how can you make the most of your work-from-home time? Try these ideas on for size…
1) Claim Your Turf When You Work From Home
If you’re fortunate enough to have a spare room with a door you can close, then you’re already ahead of the game.
But for some of us, that just isn’t possible. Maybe your desk is in a disused corner of the living room… The living room where your significant other is watching the latest episode of the Walking Dead.
Maybe you don’t even have a desk of your own, and you’re figuring out your business plan while sitting at your kitchen table.
Don’t sweat it. Working from home is still possible.
The key is to make your workspace yours. Claim your turf!
That means demanding some much-needed physical space. You’re allowed to have some elbow room and a clear work surface, even if it’s only temporary.
2) Create Your Best Workspace… Right Now
Notice that I said “your best workspace,” not “your ideal workspace.” These are two very different things. An ideal workspace is pretty much unattainable, but you can use what you have on-hand to create your best possible workspace, right at this moment.
Start by asking yourself what a productive work session would look like for you. What do you want to accomplish? From there, you can figure out what tools or materials you need today.
Most of us need to have a computer nearby that’s in good, working order. Make sure that your WiFi access is reliable, and that you’ve nailed down a few go-to apps and tools to make your workflow easier.
Also gather any physical materials you may need. For many craftistas, having the right tools on-hand to fulfill orders is absolutely essential, but even if you’re not creating physical goods, most of us think better when we have some scratch paper and a pen nearby.
And if you’ve got a problem with blocking things out, never forget the power of headphones!
3) Set Some Boundaries with Those Around You
This is tough for a lot of female entrepreneurs, but especially those with kids in the house.
But just remember: if you were at your day job, it wouldn’t be appropriate to get a dozen calls in an hour from anyone, even your family. Your work time should always be treated with respect. Unless there’s an emergency, make it clear that you need to be left alone.
Remember: just because you’re physically in the home, that doesn’t mean you’re not hard at work. Your business matters!
Now, I realize that some of you might already be feeling a little bit guilty at the idea of “ignoring” your families. But think of it this way: an hour of solid, uninterrupted work means that you’ll be less distracted and way more present with your loved ones for the rest of the day. What’s not to like?
4) Don’t Forget that YOU Need to Respect Boundaries, Too
Almost nobody likes to do housework, and I’m no exception. But isn’t it funny that whenever I sit down to do some real, heads-down project work at home, I suddenly realize that it would be a great idea to vaccuum the entire house and/or deep-clean the kitchen?
While I’m all for stepping away to clear your head, there’s a difference between taking a break and avoiding a tough, entrepreneurial problem. Unfortunately, when I’m working from home, all I have to do is look away from the computer and see some household chore that I’ve been neglecting. The dishes need to be washed, so why not stop working on this challenging project? Why not just ditch my to-do list?
Please, please, please — do not give in to that temptation!
Just because something needs to be done doesn’t mean that it needs to be done right now.
Remember what I said about us being at work, even though we’re at home? I wouldn’t leave my day job to vaccuum my living room, so the same rules should apply here.
In one of our favorite business books, ReWork, the authors suggest that it’s often better for entrepreneurs to keep our costs down and set up our offices at home, instead of at expensive office suites.
Even if you tend to work at a local cafe, your wallet will thank you when you skip the $5 latte and fire up the coffee maker in your kitchen.
Yeah, working from home definitely has its perks…
But like any work environment, there are challenges. We’ve talked about a few, but what challenges have you encountered?
About Feliza David, Creative Director
Think of Feliza as LEAP’s very own Don Draper, except without the hard partying. (The only thing she binges on is Netflix.) From tool reviews to learning modules to eye-catching graphics, Feliza probably had her hand in it.
She loves LEAP because:
Feliza lives in Indiana with her husband, two dogs, one cat, and the occasional goldfish. When she’s not writing, drawing, or reading, she’s probably sleeping.