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Work At Home More Efficiently With These 10 Tips

Work At Home More Efficiently With These 10 Tips

Home-based businesses have been around since the rise of commerce. Traditionally, only certain types of jobs like agriculture, handicraft making, small manufacturing, and repair could be carried out from home. But working at home now is an entirely different concept from what it used to be in the bygone era. Today, the rapid innovation of technology has changed the very nature of what can be done from home. In fact, people in almost every industry can work from their house at least part time.

Having an office right at home comes with a fair share of pros and cons. On one hand, nothing can beat the feeling of being one’s own boss while on the other, maintaining a level of concentration to get things done on time is a daunting task.

If you are thinking about or already working from home, here are ten tips to maximize your productivity while keeping the work from home experience enjoyable.

1. Work life balance.

The most common problem faced by people who work at home is the difficulty in maintaining a work-life balance. It is so easy to go back to working on that unfinished item during family time.

Webmd.com has a great article asking are you a work-a-holic? If you are you may not be a good candidate to work from home. To combat this problem, it’s a great idea to have a structured routine. This helps to pace the day and to monitor how much you have accomplished. Your routine should include a set time when work is finished.

Remember, checklists really help to accomplish your tasks, but you must make the decision that when the stop time comes your done crossing items off the list. Setting a structure day and remaining committed to family time will actually help you to be more productive and happier in what you do.

2. Establish a well-defined workspace.

When people work at home, they need to create a clear distinction between working space and living space. Establishing a proper mini-office within the home aids the worker by putting everything required for work in a single place. This lowers the risk of misplacing important items and it reduces time need to gather necessary tools and materials.

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The dedicated works space helps with mindset. You are going to your office. You should treat it no differently than if you were driving in. That mean you should not have distractions present you would not have at your regular office. Your goal is to outperform your office based cohorts.

3. Keep in touch with co-workers.

Plying trade from home doesn’t have to be a lonely task. It’s important to keep in touch with colleagues on a regular basis. It helps to know what is happening in the office environment so that you will not be caught unaware of major policy change that could affect your job.

Even when working on an independent level, getting in touch with other telecommuters is helpful to stay abreast of industry or community trends. That can be done through industry online boards or other community events.

People desire a sense of community and belonging. By making a small effort to stay in touch with others, it will help to keep your satisfaction level high with your at home position.

4. Know your goals and document their completion.

A perceived common problem faced by many home based workers is they often lack the constant feedback that their office based counter parts receive from supervisors. It is widely believed by employers that without the natural pressure of a supervisor, home-based workers my have lower productivity and misuse their company resources.

However, the Harvard Business Review published a study in the January – February online magazine that suggest the opposite. In fact, the study showed that telecommuters were 13.5% more productive while also being half a likely to quit or call in sick than their office based coworkers.

The key is to have work that is highly measurable and easily expandable. Make sure you are clear on what your employer needs then make sure there is a way that your work is documented. This allows for accountability and visibility to your employer. This is a win for you and your employer, which should make you both happy.

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5. Keep the workplace clean.

Working away from the office environment helps to reduce sick time. Less contact with people means a lower likelihood of contracting a communicable disease like a cold or the flu.

However, home-based workers face a unique problem in that they spend large amounts of time in a static environment and that increases their chance of dealing with allergen problems.

According to Sinusitis Wellness, a leading authority on Allergic and Chronic Sinusitis, dust, pollen and mold are pollutants that can cause your sinus headaches, sinus congestions, and even chronic fatigue. The more you breathe in the problem antigens the worse your symptoms will be.

So it is important to do regular cleaning of your home office to keep these common pollutants at a minimum. This will help you to focus and be more productive.

6. Set a proper routine.

One of the common problems while working from home is the difficulty in keeping track of time. Most often, we have no clue whatsoever of how much we worked.

It’s a great idea to make a routine even while working at home. This helps keep track of time and we can always realize how much we worked.

Making a routine defining working time and working hours and sticking to it will surely ease the life of a household worker a lot.

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7. Make sure you’ve enough work.

Another important thing for homeworkers is to have enough work all the time. It doesn’t just ensure that you’re occupied sufficiently and you can make a good living but also you don’t have to worry about paying bills and meeting your needs.

If there’s less work, one can be occupied with the thoughts of anxiety and dissatisfaction and the person may not be able to give the best for even the available work.

With enough work and having to meet deadlines, people can do more in less time too, compared to when they’re free more often.

8. Stay away from distractions during working hours.

Just when you’re trying to engage in your work, your wife enters asking you to fix the kitchen sink and it’s not before an hour you’re back at the business. Now, you think you’ve in excess of coming two hours all to yourself.

But how wrong you’re! A friend pops in for a visit and all your hopes are vanquished. Such kind of distractions are probably the biggest problem for telecommuting people.

So when you’re planning to engage in a work, lock the doors and keep yourself away from people and events that can hurdle you. And, don’t get disrupted unless something serious like fire or earthquake happens.

9. Reserve holidays for yourself.

Holidays are what office workers cherish the most in their life, generally. While they can get their holidays only on certain days, people working at home can decide when they’re going to have holidays by themselves.

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So why not to exploit this privilege as much as possible? Rather than working little a day throughout the week, why not to work longer hours some days and have a couple of days off?

This helps telecommuters revel in their favorite pastimes and refresh themselves, which surely enhances work rate in future.

10. Enjoy your privileges but don’t abuse them.

Not just while telecommuting but in every walk of life, enjoying the privileges without abusing them will surely help keep one to do great things. This works in telecommuting too just fine.

Work in an organized manner, keeping proper balance between work and other pursuits of life. And don’t try to circumvent all the time.

For example, freelance writers ought not to take telecommuting as the opportunity to create copied and baseless articles and paid enormously. It might help in short run but hampers the chance to learn and grow on to become a better writer.

By following these 10 tips you can create positives for both yourself and your employer. You get proximity to family and flexibility. You employer gets greater productivity and fewer losses due to an unhappy worker.

However you should remember that although the trend of telecommuting is growing, it is not unheard of for a company to reverse course on this policy. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayers ended the company’s policy allowing tele-work in June of 2013. She never cited the exact reason for the reversal, but you have to believe the company’s turn around plan demanded better results from all of Yahoo’s work from home employees.

Featured photo credit: A great home office environment via decosee.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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