A home business can be rewarding and fun, but it can be challenging some days to keep productive.
There are so many things that can detract you from your work and cause you to lose focus and reduce your productivity. This can slow the growth of your home business and cause you to do more work.
You have your family as well as important things to accomplish every day, it can be so easy to take just a few minutes to do something unrelated to you home business, and before you know it you have lost your momentum and have to remember where you left off.
When I started my home business I was still working a full time job so I had only a few hours in the evening and weekends to get work done on my blog, catching up on emails to my customers and manage my ad campaigns. Some days I felt like I was distracted and interrupted all the time, I was spending most of my weekend catching up.
So how can you stay focused and manage your business?
Here are 8 tips to help you keep productive:
1. Choose a location where you can work without distractions
Working at home can be distracting, you sit down to start working and you notice the dishes need to be washed or you remember something you wanted to do and before you know it you have spent all day doing everything except what you wanted to accomplish in your business. It is important to set some ground rules for yourself and everyone in the house. When you are at your desk, you are at your job and that is all you will be doing for the next few hours.
2. Give yourself a commute
Sometimes no matter how hard you try it can be difficult to focus on your work when there is so much going on or needing to be done at home. Avoiding the little distractions at home can be solved by just going somewhere, not home, to do your work. It doesn’t have to be far, just somewhere that you have no responsibilities.
I found this to be SO true.
To solve this issue I found a small coffee shop with Wi-Fi access near my home and I make the commute there at least once a day with my laptop. I found getting away from home for couple of hours got me away from the little things that robbed my productivity and I can get my work done with no guilt about not doing my chores first.
3. Pick a time of day where you can dedicate two to three hours to working on your home business without major interruptions.
We all have busy personal and family lives but you need to dedicate a few hours a day to your business. It doesn’t have to be a full 8 hours or even all in one session. That’s one of the best things about a home business, you do 2 hours in the morning, run your errands and wash those ever present dishes, then spend an hour or two before bed catching up.
The main thing is taking care of your business.
4. Remember to take a break
As with any business working for long periods of time can make you less productive. Take a break every few hours to give your mind time to refresh.
I find it easy to lose track of time while working, especially when I’m on a roll.
Setting a timer to go off and remind you when it is break time can help.
5. Keep organized
Keep your business space organized is a must, who can find anything when your desk is cluttered and you could lose productivity looking for things.
This also applies to your computer files and documents. If you don’t have a computer dedicated to just your business, make separate directories for your business files, if you can create a separate drive to store the files.
Keep your work space just for your business, use another location for your family paperwork and bills. This also removes the distraction of balancing your personal checking account on company time.
6. Have an action plane
Have you ever found yourself working on so many things at once you can’t get any of them done?
It can be a major time suck.
Take a few minutes to plan what you want to accomplish the next day. Creating a daily to do list and assign each task a time slot. Tackle the first thing on the list for that day and don’t move on to the next until you have you have completed the time dedicated to that task for the day or you have completed the task.
Trust me you will get far more accomplished.
7. Plan your Business Budget. And stick to it.
Having a home based business can be a financial strain, especially when you your just getting started and haven’t had many sales yet. Just as for your home your business needs a budget.
Figure out how much you need each month to cover your business expenses and set that aside in your business bank account. Try to plane a little extra in the budget so you have a cushion in case you’re out flow is higher than expected one day.
It is important to set up a business bank account to help keep your business and personal expenses separated. It will be a big help at tax time.
8. Keep track of your time
You should keep track of the time you spend working on your business each week. You don’t have to make it very complicated, writing your time on a calendar each week can be enough when you start, there are free calendars available online with space for written entries you can download and fill out and save on your computer or print.