March 15, 2010
Serial entrepreneur, Internet marketing expert, published author, speaker and founder of “The Internet Marketing Blog”:
Do you work from home? These tips will make your days more productive.
Start Each Day with a Plan
I know early in the morning what I’ll be working on that day. A lot of people start by checking their email and then do whatever comes to their minds next. You should spend at least 10 minutes every day to answer yourself this question, “what is the ONE thing I need to get done today that will put me closer to my goal?” That’s your top priority; work on it first.
Set Up a Functional Workspace
* You need your own room. You can’t work in the kitchen with the kids running around.
* Have all the elements you need at hand. You shouldn’t have to stand up to pick up a notepad or go to the other room to print a document.
* You should work in a pleasant environment. Make sure it’s noise-free, the temperature is adequate, your stuff is organized and you have a glass of water next to you.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
This is extremely hard to do; especially if you own your own business. But, mastering this skill will make you and your family happier. Decide what your work hours will be and stick to your schedule. I usually carry a notebook with me and if I get an idea outside business hours, I write it down and do it the next day.
Learn to Say No
If your spouse wants you to pick up the kids from soccer because “you are home”, remind him or her that you are working, not “relaxing at home”. Learn to say no.
Set Small Goals and Don’t Take Breaks Until You Accomplish Them
I like working in chunks of one hour each. If I need to email 100 people and each email takes me five minutes, then I know that I can email 12 people per hour, so I make that my goal and I don’t do anything else until I’m done. I don’t check my email, answer the phone or cook myself lunch. When I’m done, I take a break and do whatever else I need to do. If an idea comes to my mind while I’m working on the 12 emails, I write it down for later and continue working on the emails.
Take Care of Yourself
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shave, shower, work out or eat well. Looking good makes you feel good and when you feel good you are more successful.
Analyze Each Day
This exercise will only take you five minutes and it’ll make you much more effective. Whenever you feel you haven’t had a very productive day, write down everything you’ve done that day. Figure out what the biggest time drainers were and how you can stop them from happening again. Don’t be too hard on yourself; working from home isn’t easy. Just learn from your mistakes and move on.