Procrastination is the self-employed mum’s worst enemy. It takes over and your productivity goes through the floor. You need to stay on track and make sure you’re working in a productive way for both your clients and your own benefit. Below are three useful tips that can really make a difference to your success working from home.
1. Be Accountable
Accountability is something that many self-employed mums end up forgoing completely and then the procrastination sets in. You need to find a way of being accountable, it could be through a network group or it could be somebody who works in a similar industry who you check in with regularly. In a regular workplace it’s likely colleagues or managers will review your progress or at least provide some moral support, this can be harder to come by when working from home. Building a small network of like-minded work at home mums and self-employed professionals will really help in the long run.
Deadlines also play a key role in your accountability. If you have clients who are relaxed and easy-going and therefore don’t set deadlines, you’ll become relaxed too. Be strict with yourself and you’ll soon realise you can get a lot more done in a lot less time.
2. Make your Breaks Count
Nobody can stay focused successfully for hours on end. Working from home can make starting at 8 am and ploughing through until 5 pm without a break attractive as you may be able to squeeze in a short day later in the week. This is never a good idea. You need to add breaks into your working day. If there’s the offer of lunch out or you fancy a walk around the local park with the kids – take the opportunity.
Think about the time you spend procrastinating or checking Twitter and Facebook whilst you’re ‘working’ and think about how that time could have been employed as a proper break instead. Do something with your breaks that takes you out of the home and away from the office. Your work will be better for it.
3. Compartmentalise with Task Lists
Lists are key to productivity. You need to have a number of lists on the go at any one time which may sound like an organisational nightmare but it isn’t. As a minimum you’ll need a list of your long term goals which could be anything from a weekly deadline list to projects you need to have boxed off by the end of the month. The second list you should consider essential is the daily task list. Before you even check your emails in the morning you should set some achievable daily tasks. The most realistic the better as your productivity will dwindle if you see an endless, unachievable series of tasks.
Work from home jobs are there to give you the opportunity to generate a tangible income whilst also being able to spend time with your family and children. If you pack out your diary with so much work you can’t spend 5 minutes away from your computer then you’ve missed the point. These tips will help you manage your time more effectively and ensure work time and down time are fully separate.