Countless entrepreneurs begin their small business ventures out of their homes. By doing so, they eliminate commuting and office rent costs, thereby freeing up capital for other uses.
However, working from home offers its own set of unique challenges. Distractions (TV, pets or the pile of laundry begging to be washed), and conversations from spouses and pre-school children all can hinder productivity.
Here are a few suggestions for being more productive at a home-based business:
1. Close off your workspace
Separate business from family life. This can be as simple as converting an unused bedroom into an office or simply establishing a workspace in the basement and closing the door. A spouse asking for help bringing in the groceries or a toddler’s request to fix a toy may seem innocent enough, but these interruptions add up over the course of the work day. Be sure that everyone in your household recognizes that you are working and should not be distracted.
2. Put off the chores
Ignore the pile of laundry and the breakfast dishes. Cook dinner in advance during the evening and warm it up tomorrow at dinnertime. Do not lose your morning to household chores that will delay the start or your workday. This is especially true for moms who are trying to run a part-time, start-up business. If you have school age children, you are on a daily deadline to complete your company-related tasks. It is critical to delay household responsibilities until after the work day has ended (before it begins, for the “early birds”).
3. Turn on technology
Take advantage of technology, including Wifi, Google Hangouts, FreeConferenceCall.com, Skype, and various free file-sharing programs.
4. Break up the monotony
Schedule in breaks. Go out to lunch every once in a while for a change of scenery. You can even bring your laptop and work while you are eating. Many eateries cater to tech-savvy entrepreneurs by offering free wifi along with sandwiches and lattes. Schedule in-person meetings at client offices. Being in your home 24/7 can be monotonous.
These four tips can help home-based business owners avoid distractions and become more productive.