How to Make Working from Home Work for You
Working from home has many advantages that make it an attractive career or side-gig option. It does, however, involve working — and people often initially struggle to complete tasks from the comfort of their house. If you’re interested in working from home, but are having trouble actually getting work done, these tips will help you be successful.
Setting Goals: Determining What You Need and Want
First, start by considering what your motivations for working from home are. These will form the foundation of your goals, and it’s your goals that will keep you on track day-in and day-out.
There’s a wide variety of reasons why people work from home, so motivations and goals frequently vary. For example, you might be pursuing a work-at-home opportunity in order to:
- Have greater flexibility during the day
- Supplement other income during spare time
- Work around childcare or other obligations
- Earn an income while being your own boss
- Earn extra income to reach financial targets
Whatever your reason(s), turn them into concrete goals. If you’re trying to earn extra income in order to meet a financial target, how fast do you want to hit the target and how much do you need to earn each day? If you’re hoping to spend more time with family, maybe your goal would be to take long weekends each week even if that means a slightly reduced income.
When you have an idea of what your goal is, put it in concrete terms (e.g. “I will earn $50 each day” or “I won’t work Fridays”). Also, create a reminder for yourself. The reminder could be the goal written out, or it could be a picture or something else that captures your motivation.
Working Efficiently: Maximizing Your Personal Productivity
Second, working efficiently means you’ll have to put in fewer hours and/or earn more money. For obvious reasons, it’s ideal to maximize your personal productivity as much as possible.
In most cases, starting early leads to getting more work done. People are generally fresher early in the day than mid-afternoon, and beginning work first thing keeps other items from overtaking your work time. There isn’t necessarily a time that everyone needs to begin working, but when you wake up get right to work as quickly as possible.
As you gain experience, you’ll likely find that some hours are more productive than others. It’s common for people’s productivity to take a little lull during the mid-day, or you might not be efficient at night. Alternatively, you may be at your best once everyone’s in bed if you’re a night owl.
Track your own productivity, and try to work during your more productive hours. Use the less productive ones to attend to non-work obligations or work obligations that don’t require as much focus.
When maximizing productivity, it’s important to realize that most people who work from home can’t work only during their most productive hours. Other obligations, such as taking children to school, might have to be done at certain times and dictate that work is completed at other — even non-ideal — times. The hope is to maximize productivity as much as possible given your personal situation, but don’t get too upset if you have to work during non-peak hours for some reason.
Workspace: Create the Right Environment
Third, you need a regular workspace even if you don’t have to go into an office. Having a workspace helps your brain and body recognize that when you’re in the space it’s time to work and not do other things.
While it should be a regular space that you use, what you use as a workspace is highly flexible.
If using a space that’s used for other purposes, such as a desk that is in your kitchen, a pre-work routine can help designate that multi-purpose area as a workspace for the time that you work. For instance, you might let the dog out, make a cup of coffee and then sit at the kitchen table to work. This simple ritual is different from making dinner and sitting down for a meal, and it’ll serve as a cue that you’re there to focus on work-related tasks.
Of course, your workspace should have everything you need readily accessible. Such as a phone, computer and any other necessary items should be easily within reach. There’s no point to having a dedicated workspace if you’re constantly leaving it to fetch things.
Distractions: Minimize as Much as Possible
Finally, distractions are the enemy of efficiently working anywhere — and there are lots of them at home. Although eliminating all distractions while working would be preferable, this isn’t realistic for most people. Instead, make a concerted effort to minimize your distractions as much as possible.
You can do part of this yourself by simply seeing to household chores when it’s time to do them. If you don’t procrastinate and wash the dishes after meals, you won’t have to fret over dirty dishes while working.
To block out distracting noises, try to insulate yourself from them as much as possible. Ask any family members who are home to go in another room and shut the door when they’re having a conversation in person or on the phone. Also, you may want to invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
One of the biggest distractions is likely your phone. Assuming you don’t need it for work, put it away in another room while you’re working. Use it as little as possible, and you’ll find you get a lot more done. Even 5-second interruptions to check texts add up — not to mention the endless hours that can be spent on social media.
To keep family members and friends from interrupting your workflow, which can be devastating if you’re on a roll when they first talk to you, ask them to leave you a message instead of speaking to you directly. A message left on a Post-It note or sent over instant message is easy to write, and you can check it when doing so won’t interrupt your flow.
Make Your Work From Home Dream a Reality
The Arise® Platform allows you to provide customer support, to Fortune 500 clients, from home. Many company owners have used these tips to help them provide excellent customer support. These tips for work-from-home success will help you be more productive and reach your goals too.
Sign- up to use the Arise® Platform today and you’ll be working from home in no time.