Working from home can be challenging. You’re trying to get some serious work done, but after a full day what have you accomplished? Sometimes not much at all. But don’t get discouraged – instead, take action to be more productive, starting today.
Tell your neighbors and family that when you are working, you are working. As in no knocking on the door, no phone calls, no anything but work. Does this seem harsh? Think of it this way – do you go to your neighbor’s job and ask to borrow a cup of sugar? Many people do not realize that during our working hours we are actually working. It is hard for people who do not work from home to understand that we need to be able to work undisturbed. You don’t have to be rude, but you have to be firm.
Can’t get started? Maybe it’s because you don’t know where to start. Here’s a tip: Start on anything related to your most important priority just to get yourself moving on it. Once you get started, you might find you need to make a list as the ideas on what needs to be done suddenly start flying at you fast and furious. That’s the magic of just getting started – it opens all kinds of windows into the project and shows you what needs to be done.
Feeling overwhelmed? Take baby steps. You do not have to complete the entire project in a day. Break it into small pieces and attack the first one. Then get the next one done. Before you know it, you’re done!
Having second thoughts about the project? They might be an indication that you are on the wrong track, but it is more likely that it is just your fear trying to stop you. What if the product doesn’t sell? What if no one signs up for my course? What if my book gets bad reviews? Those things could happen. (In fact, there is a nearly 100% chance that your book will get some bad reviews, along with some very good ones. You can’t make everyone happy.) What should you do when you have doubts? Tamp them down long enough to create something that will give you proof of concept. Instead of creating an entire course before putting anything out to the world, do a free webinar with a portion of the material. What kind of feedback did you get? Was there interest in the topic? Did attendees like what you had to say? Learn from their feedback to make your course even better.
Are you easily distracted…is that a butterfly? Sorry—what was I saying? Oh yeah, distractions. Turn off notifications, shut the tab with Facebook in it, turn off the ringer on your phone and get rid of anything that takes your focus off of what you should be doing. Set a timer for 30 to 60 minutes, then just work. Don’t stop unless the place is on fire. Just keep working until the timer goes off. Take a break for a few minutes to get a glass of water or take a short walk, then do it again.
Are other “priorities” cropping up? You know, you really should get this proposal finished, but first you need to clean the bathroom. Isn’t it amazing how things you have been putting off are suddenly more interesting than doing the work you know you need to do? Put down the scrub brush and step away from the tub. The dirt will still be there when you finish your proposal.
Got a bad case of the “blahs”? Maybe you just don’t “feel” like working. Well, yeah, we all have times when we don’t want to work. But you chose this business and it is something you want to do, so no excuses. Step out of your office for a few minutes to walk around the block, jump on your mini-trampoline, blast your favorite up-tempo song and dance your heart out, or whatever it takes to jumpstart your ambition. Then get back in there and get to work! Give yourself a strong talking to, or bribe yourself with the promise of a reward when you are done, but do what you have to do.
Working for yourself, and working from home, means you need to be disciplined and motivated. Stay focused and productive by reminding yourself why you are doing this. What made you decide to take the leap into self-employment? What are your long-term goals for your business? How does what you are working on today help you move toward those goals? Keeping the big picture in mind can help you to do more!