How can you be productive when working from home? It doesn't matter if you're an entrepreneur, like myself, or you work for a company, there are things that you can do to be productive, working from home.
Number one, have a dedicated space. Now if you're fortunate like me, and you have a spare bedroom, that could be your work office. Or maybe you have kiddos at home, but they're at school during the day, so you commandeer the room as your office. Having a dedicated space puts you in the mindset of working. Now, if you live in a smaller place, like a small apartment, or a studio apartment, maybe you make the kitchen table your dedicated workspace. Again, this is all about mindset, getting into the mindset, that when you were in this area, this is your workspace. Now, if other people are around you at home, they could be kids, they could be spouses, they could be in laws, it doesn't matter. make sure they know that when you are in this space you are working.
Number two, have office hours. When you go to an office, and let's say your office hours are 8am to 5pm, it's black and white. You're at work at eight, you come home with five, it's black and white. When you work from home, it's kind of grey. When are you working? When are you home? When are you the mom, when are you the dad? So you need to have office hours. And you need to tell the people you live with, these are your office hours. I'm going to work from 8am to noon, I'm going to take lunch from noon to one and I'm going to work from 1pm to 5pm. They need to know this. And you need to know this. So I would even go so far as to post these office hours on your doorframe, on your door, on the kitchen refrigerator, whatever the case may be. That's idea number two.
Idea number three, minimize distractions. This is such a big problem when you're working from home. Because even if you are an empty nester like myself, it's really tempting to come out and get something to drink out of the refrigerator, a cold drink of water or a soda or something like that. And you're like, Wow, you know, I should empty the dishwasher. I should do the dishes, I should put a load of laundry in. And all of a sudden, now you're like, Wait, wait, what am I doing? I'm working right now. Because you would not, if you went to an office, you would not realize, Huh, I've got to empty a dishwasher. Put your things down at work, go out to your car, drive home, put the load of laundry or the load of dishes in the dishwasher and drive back, right? Of course, that's silly. But why do you do it when you're home? Why do I do it when I'm home? Because it's there. So you need to eliminate the distractions. And the number one thing I tell my clients and people who follow me on social media to do, check this out. You ready for this? Schedule these household chores, distractions that you're going to do anyways. So if you know that you've allocated 15 minutes, 30 minutes later on in the day to do household chores, when you get tempted, when you go out and get that nice bottle of ice water from the refrigerator, and you get tempted to look at the dishwasher or look at the sink or to look at the laundry and go, Wait a minute. I've got that schedule later today.
Other distractions: only have what you need in your immediate line of sight. So if you're writing a proposal, you're writing a blog post, you're working on your book, whatever, only have what you need right in front of you. Don't have all this other stuff that you may not think it's important, but your brain is like, What's that? What's that? What's that? It's distracting. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Maybe turn it off. You need to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
And the fourth idea I have for you is take as many micro breaks as you need. A micro break is when you get up. This is very important. So listen to me carefully. When you get up from wherever you are, it gets the blood moving. So I want you to get up from your home office, wherever that may be. I want you to walk outside. If it's cold, grab a jacket. If it's raining, don't go stand out in the rain. Okay? I don't want you to be on your device. I don't want you talking to anybody. I don't even want you thinking about what you're working on, or what you have to do next, I just want you to be quiet. I want you to be fully present, maybe do some deep breathing. This should only take you three to five minutes from the time it starts, until the time you get back to your desk, but they are life changing, they are job changing, they are productivity changing. Okay? Really, to help you.