Working from home comes with ample opportunities for distractions and loss of motivation. It all starts with doing something you truly love to do. If you are unhappy in your career, even working from home is not going to make you more productive. You must have a solid work ethic and the desire to succeed in order to remain productive while working from home.
Design your own Workspace
Create a workspace in your home that is separate from the sleeping and common areas. It should be on the opposite side of the home from the bedroom, when possible. Design the space with things that make you happy. Use prints of inspirational, motivational and productivity building quotations from your favorite people.The happier you are to enter your workspace, the more productive you will be. Keep the space organized as clutter leads to tension and being out of sorts. Clutter kills productivity quicker than a cloudy day.
Put a Value on your Time
Your time is not free. It is important to establish your worth and make sure that you are receiving your value (pay) for the time you give to an employer. The more value (pay) you receive for your time, the more productive you are likely to be. Low wages often cause at-home workers to stray from work duties and lose interest in performing those duties.Compare your average hourly earnings and make sure that it matches the dollar amount that you have placed as the value of an hour of your time. If your numbers are not matching up, it is ideal to examine your work situation and make adjustments accordingly whether it is to complete more tasks in an hour’s time or take on additional clientele.
Collect Past Due Balances Diligently
If you are working as a freelancer, from home, it is up to you to collect on past due invoices. All of your clients should have signed contracts and in those contracts it should state that legal recourse will be taken for all unpaid balances. This allows you to send collection notices and demands for payment to clients with the intent of filing in small claims court.When freelancing, it may be a good idea to require payment in advance for brand new clients for a period of time to develop a working relationship. This ensures payment, you just have to be sure to deliver what the client has paid for. Once trust is established, invoicing can occur for services rendered.
Extensions exist for browsers to block you from accessing specific websites, such as Facebook and Craigslist as examples, during set hours. Preventing yourself from accessing distractions during work hours promotes productivity and helps you develop a stronger work ethic.
Get Dressed Everyday
Even if you only have to walk 10 steps to your home office, get dressed for work. Looking the part, even at home, promotes productivity and makes you want to work harder to get back into your street clothes. Make sure that you keep a business-appropriate wardrobe available as you never know when a client may request a formal video conference call. In those instances, you will at least need to be dressed the part from the waist up, so it does not matter if your bottoms are sweats. You are, however, more likely to perform better in conference calls when you are fully dressed in the appropriate attire.
Keep a Schedule
Even if you aren’t leaving the house and don’t have specific due times for projects, keep a schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night. Set your alarm and get up at the same time every morning. Keeping a schedule, with hours created to your preferences, helps you stay productive while working from home. It is also a block of time that you will tell friends and family is off-limits for work purposes and is a timeframe given to clients for contact.
With a bit of discipline, you can be productive when working from home. Allow yourself to listen to music for motivation. Set timers for tasks and make productivity a game to keep improving the number of tasks completed per day. The more you challenge yourself and keep working from your home office interesting, the more you will want to work.