Starting a business out of your garage or home office isn’t as easy as Silicon Valley makes it look. Not only do you face an uphill battle in your particular marketplace as a newcomer, but transforming your everyday living quarters into the home of your new business can be incredibly difficult.
Your home has always been a place of relaxation and usually a safe haven from stress, but once you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, you seemingly give those qualities away.
Here are 8 tips that will help you not only be successful at home, but also allow you to integrate your work and life:
1. Create A Separate Working Space
Create a separate working space that can be closed off from your normal living area. Set yourself up in an office, basement or any area that is easy to close off from the rest of your home. This area will be known to those in your home as a “work only zone” and can convey the point that when you are there, you are working.
2. Make Your Space Comfortable
In this area, make sure you create a comfortable and functional work space complete with a comfortable chair, good lighting and of course, a computer desk that is comfortable yet efficient. By creating a comfortable working space, you will be able to focus solely on your business and push aside any confusion of the work/life line.
“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” –David Allen
3. Stick To A Schedule
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of creating a work schedule. Maybe you don’t want to work your basic “9 to 5” – that’s fine, but make sure that your schedule is consistent and that each day, you know what to expect of your schedule. Plan to give yourself breaks each day at the same time and a lunch time which you regularly abide by. Setting these mental work guidelines will help you become more productive in between your set breaks.
4. Get A White Board/Bulletin Board
Utilizing a whiteboard for ideas, planning and reminders allows you to layout any thought in an easy way that can be helpful to the more visual learner. Notebooks, sticky notes and computer notes are helpful, but both can be misplaced or ignored whereas a whiteboard is always in the same spot and easy to reference. This will also give you a chance to get up from your seat once in awhile.
5. Record How You Spend Your Time
By keeping tabs on yourself, you will likely be motivated by the idea of looking at a list of completed tasks at the end of the day. This motivation will make you do more work and keep you from getting sidetracked.
6. Limit Distractions
Don’t put a TV in your office. Limiting your distractions isn’t easy to do with alternative entertainment surrounding you in your home, but as much as you can eliminate these possible distractions the more work you will be able to accomplish. It may seem very minuscule, but even leaving on the morning news in your office can severely limit your progress on daily tasks.
“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” –Adam Hochschild
7. Set Boundaries
Set boundaries with your family and significant others. To your family or significant other, “being home” all day might make the work/life line a bit blurry so be sure to set the boundaries early.
A good rule of thumb is that your office is your workplace and during your set work hours, you are actually at work. Setting these boundaries will allow you to complete your daily work without being bothered with things that you wouldn’t have to do while working at an office.
Overall, working from home is a great opportunity, and sometimes the only option, for entrepreneurs looking to make a name for themselves. The best part about starting your own business is that your business will only work as well as you do. Success and failure is in your hands and if you have a difficult time working in your home, your business could suffer.
I hope this has helped those of you working from home or planning to work from home! Now you know what time it is… it’s time to go out there and do something GREAT!
You are blessed and highly favored!
What are some things you do to stay productive when working from home? Leave your thoughts below!