Every home business owner would like to find a way to save time and increase productivity. Unfortunately, working from home often means that productivity can take a back seat to the million other things competing for our attention.
These three sure-fire tips will help you work smarter, save time and increase productivity.
#1 – Set a schedule and stick to it. It’s tempting to stray from a set schedule when you work from home. After all, working from home means we have the freedom to set our own hours. Unfortunately, however, this can lead to reduced productivity.
One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to set a firm schedule for work hours and stick to it. This means that work time is work time. If you were at the office, friends wouldn’t pop over for coffee, the laundry wouldn’t get done during your work hours and your neighbor wouldn’t call you for a chat. By setting a strict work schedule, not only will you get more done, but people will learn to respect that working from home really does mean you’re working.
#2 – Work in short bursts. Research has proven that after a set time of concentrating on a task at hand, we start to lag. Our concentration lessens and we actually get less done. When you work from home, it’s easy to avoid this. Simply set your work schedule to include short bursts of time assigned to each specific project.
The time you allow for each project will depend on you personally, but you can experiment until you find what works best for you. A good rule of thumb is 45 minutes for any intensive task that requires concentration.
For example, if you have a batch of work to edit, spend 45 minutes doing that, then move on to answering your emails for another set amount of time. After that you can either go back to editing to tackle another task.
The key is to break your time up into chunks that you dedicate specifically to each individual task. Then you move on to the next task for a specific set amount of time. And don’t forget to take a short 5 or 10 minute break every few hours or so. This will help you clear your mind as well as avoid your body getting stiff from sitting for extended periods of time.
#3 – Get organized. There’s a great saying: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Being organized is an important part of being productive. By taking a little time to plan your day or the week ahead means you can dive straight into work without wondering what you’re meant to be doing.
It also helps to keep all your important papers, folders and documents easily labelled and accessible so that you don’t waste time looking for things. While planning ahead does take a little time, it will save you more time in the long run.
These three tips will help you become and remain more productive during your work day. By thinking ahead and planning your day, working in short but concentrated bursts and sticking to a strict work schedule you will get more done in less time.