Working from home is more possible than ever with all the opportunities the Internet brought.
You need to be willing to work hard to get to the point where you can make a decent income by yourself, though. Which often means working more than 8 hours a day, doing it for free first, never being sure whether you’ll receive money tomorrow, etc.
But the pros are way too good to skip that chance.
You’re playing by your own rules, not answering to anyone, probably doing something you’re passionate about, can take a break whenever you want, or a whole holiday actually. The working hours are up to you, and you can even work from the beach.
Not to mention that you can structure your days in the best way possible so that you can have time for your family, for hobbies and activities you love, and pretty much everything that’s important to you.
You can also scale the business anytime, take up new projects whenever you feel like, work hard to start making passive income and then totally forget about it but still get money coming in.
This lifestyle is not for everyone.
For a start, not everyone is ready to dedicate so much time and energy while having a regular job to something that may or may not work out. Then come the sacrifices, the willpower, doubts and fears, the constant chance of failure, the need to do research and read a lot daily, etc.
But the people who want this lifestyle love every second of the journey to getting there.
And once it becomes your average day to wake up and to have to make yourself get to the office (which is just the place where your laptop stays) but there are also other things you may be doing, are in no rush, can put things off and are feeling lazy, some changes need to be made and discipline needs to be developed so that you can be successful.
Because if you don’t do these, you’ll stop making money and will have to go back to the 9-5 lifestyle. So productivity is the ultimate goal here – to be productive at home when no one’s making you do it.
Here are some working from home tips on how to do it:
11 Productivity Tips for Those Working from Home
1. Have a morning ritual to set yourself up for a productive day.
Start the day early and successfully by having a ritual that consists of healthy, positive and inspiring activities.
Make it at least 30 minutes and include drinking a cup of coffee slowly and peacefully. Add some reading or writing (but not online), a quick workout, maybe family time during breakfast if the others are up. Or whatever gets you in the mood to start the day and make the best of it.
2. Find your most productive time.
It’s important to keep getting up early even if you don’t need to go to the office or answer in front of anyone superior, but if you get a lot more done in the afternoon, or even at night, then structure your workday around that time. And never miss it. As it’s when you’re actually doing something productive.
This way you can easily work 4-5 hours a day and get it all done, plus focusing on some side projects and new ideas.
Use a tool like RescueTime to understand your daily habits. It tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day.
3. Tell others to respect that time.
Once you set your working hours (yes, you should do that in order to have some discipline in your life and an organized day), tell your family not to enter the room, tell your friends not to call you during that time.
It will be much easier if you get clear about that once, and never get distracted because they don’t know what time you’re working.
4. Declutter your desk.
Your desk is your office. Organize it, throw away everything that doesn’t need to be there, tidy it up and keep it that way.
5. Keep lists.
A to-do list for the day is a must. Personally, I don’t use any software or write it anywhere online, as pen and paper are working great for me.
Make a list of all the things you need to do tomorrow the night before. Then in the morning decide which your most important tasks are and focus on them first.
You can also make a list of things that need to get done eventually, but which aren’t urgent. And go back to it every now and then.
There are many other kinds of lists you can keep in order not to forget stuff like writing down everything that comes to mind connected to your business, new ideas to contemplate on later, passwords, etc.
If you’re in doubt whether this technique will help those working from home who want to stay productive, here’s how writing to-do lists helps your brain.
6. Set times and deadlines.
When you’re working from home, especially if it’s only for yourself, you’ll need to be disciplined. Otherwise, you’ll start procrastinating.
So have a certain time for waking up, have set work hours too. Also, don’t forget to set deadlines for a project, or even for the small daily tasks.
7. Have routines.
Sometimes you may not want to go to sleep, but you’ll have to in order to get up early again tomorrow. So an evening routine would help in this case.
Also, the morning ritual is a key ingredient for kickstarting the day and staying productive.
You can check email right after it, for example, to get from morning mood to working mood. That can also become a routine.
8. If you feel like working after hours, go for it.
If you want to keep working or feel super energized and full of ideas at night, feel free to skip going to bed and just go with the flow. You may be in the zone and that state is not to be missed as people usually do some of their greatest work when having a sudden burst of inspiration. (I’ve explained that phenomenon here.)
9. Don’t mix work time with leisure activities.
Some of the easiest bad habits someone working from home can build are checking email constantly, indulging in social media, or watching TV while working.
Well, you’ll have to move the TV in the other room if you can’t resist turning it on, can use softwares that block the Internet for some time if you need to write or read something. As for the email, you’ll need some willpower to limit yourself to 2 times a day – once in the morning/afternoon and once in the evening.
10. Keep forming relationships.
Home-based entrepreneurs may become loners eventually. And it’s their choice.
It’s up to you to make time for family and friends and go out. Also, don’t stop reaching out to people online and meeting new ones.
11. Enjoy the process.
Working from home is a blessing, and if you’re doing it, it’s exactly what you want.
Many people are answering in front of their bosses right now, are in an unfriendly environment, bored to death, surrounded by people they can’t stand and doing meaningless tasks that will get them nowhere while waiting for the workday to be over and making – not themselves – but someone else rich.
At the same time, you’re in your home office, drinking coffee from your favorite cup and can take a break at any moment.
So be grateful. Appreciate it. Smile throughout the whole day. Your work will benefit from that too.
These are the most important working from home tips I can come up with.
If you manage to pay attention to each of these items, your days will be more productive, organized and positive.
What other ways to get things done while working at home can you think of?