There are many benefits to working from home, but you can easily get sidetracked by things more than you would in an office environment. My office is in the perfect location, right in the center of our home where I can see everything that’s going on. It is the control center. As a working mom from home, I can easily get distracted. Kids need to be picked up and the laundry calls, errands need to be run, a kid gets sick, or we have a surprise guest. To overcome these obstacles I work with a great deal of flexibility. When mom is on a Zoom meeting call, the kids know to be quiet (at least they try).
Whether you are a pro at working from home or thinking about making the switch from corporate life to working from your extra bedroom, here are some helpful secrets to help you succeed.
Have a dedicated a work space
Even though you may not have an actual office you can convert any space in your home to create a productive zone for working. When you are home you can easily be distracted by family, friends, tv and children. You need to set boundaries for yourself and your loved ones to you can focus and they respect your professional space. I never let my kids play at my desk. That is my workspace. I like to keep it clear and organized so I can focus on my work.
Advantages of not commuting to work
When I worked in the corporate world, I had an extra two hours of driving time that I could have been working on projects or enjoying life with my family. The catch to working form home is that you have to jump into work mode and it can sometimes be a struggle when your office is at home.
My day starts by getting the kids off to school then I when I return I am in work mode. I know when I pick up the kids from school it will be more challenging to focus on work and have lots of distractions, so I am highly focused while they are at school. I have limited time to get work done, so I work much more effectively. I truly take advantage of the time with my kids that would have otherwise been lost commuting to work. At the same time, I am more productive during the day.
Take breaks to increase productivity
I find it easy to work long hours without getting up from my desk. So I force myself to get up and walk around every so often so that I don’t get burned out. A little exercise goes a long way, and you have to ensure you are eating healthy to keep up your energy. We even have a Desk Yogi course on schoolofbookkeeping.com that features how to turn your workstation into a wellness station! I have a routine that I follow pretty well to take breaks, but if you find yourself sitting for too long and not taking breaks, you could try setting the alarm for every 2 hours. This way you force yourself to get up and turn it off, so you take a little mental break.
Technology is your friend
We teach innovation at schoolofbookkeeping.com and 74systems. We are always researching new technology and apps to make your life easier. You can sometimes lose the ability to collaborate when you are working remotely from home. One way we have overcome that challenge is using Zoom meetings with our clients. It is better than meeting face to face because of the ability to record your meetings and share controls so you can collaborate on projects over the internet.
Another great collaboration tool is Slack. If you are working with a team, this is a great resource to keep everything in one place and everyone updated. The most important tool we use in our business in Insightly CRM. It keeps everything in one place. We manage our projects, tasks, contacts, opportunities, emails and much more. We also have an online scheduling tool, acuity scheduling. We never book appointments anymore, we send clients our link, and they pick a time that best meets their schedule.
There are so many options and apps that we use on a daily basis. We can do the work of 20 from our home utilizing apps! There are many options available, so we always advise the best apps are the ones you use.
Organize your day
When you work from home, you don’t have anyone checking in with you to ensure you are being productive. You are responsible for your success and you need to set goals to accomplish this. Mainly you want to make your business succeed so you can live life comfortably and provide for your family. One way to ensure you can do this is by focusing on what matters and what will generate business (income). Organize your tasks and decide what you can delegate and/or automate. When you prioritize your day you can determine if you should focus on administrative work, productive work, or marketing for new business. As an entrepreneur you have to wear all of the hats so you need to make time to nurture each part of your business. Being organized by using tools to keep you on track like a CRM will help you tremendously.
These tools help me stay on track and manage my busy life. When all else fails, and you feel overwhelmed, take a walk! When you come back, you will be refreshed and have a different perspective to overcome any obstacles you face.
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