Even if your home office is a just a $50 Ikea desk in the corner of your bedroom, adding the word ‘office’ makes quite a difference as to how others perceive what you do when describing where you work.
Since some may people may look down at working from home, mostly because the idea is such a foreign concept, the phrase ‘home office’ will instantly change others perception of what you do and may even cause envy. Here are some tips for stay-at-home entrepreneurs that will help you be more productive, happy and successful.
1. Leverage your willpower
We have a finite amount of willpower to get things done. Use it to accomplish your most important and challenging tasks first thing in the morning.
Limit yourself to four to six items a day, placing your most challenging tasks first. Limiting yourself to this manageable amount will force you to only focus on the most important tasks on your list.
2. Create a new productive habit every 30 days
Productive habits are formed by committing to doing something at the same time daily, then repeating daily. Only focus on creating a single habit at a time in a 30-day period.
Imagine how much more effective you will be in 12 months from now, after creating 12 new productive habits this year. If you are not already doing daily exercise, then commit to making that your first habit. Exercise increases your energy, improves your focus and even helps you sleep better.
Start with creating the healthy habit of becoming and staying fit.
3. Learn to say no
When it is time to work you will be most productive if you turn off your phone and shut down your e-mail browser. Learn to say no to answering the phone, especially from numbers you don’t recognise as they can easily pull you away from your productive efforts.
Learning to say no also means saying no to yourself - don’t take on the next project until you complete the task at hand.
4. Schedule and batch like tasks
Most people’s to-do lists are ordered in a priority list. Batching like tasks is a productivity hack that can save you lots of time. So when you need to make a call, make all your calls, and when you need to write an e-mail, write all your e-mails in one sitting.
Sometimes we plain just don't want to do work and would rather watch TV or play. Schedule fun as a reward for working. Thanks to Peter Drucker, we know it is best to work in blocks of one hour or more, but who said that you had to stay home every day? After all, you started your business so you could have freedom.
5. Create and automate
Create FAQs, or a knowledge base for your customers so they can get instant answers without you. Set an auto-responder with your FAQs included as part of your signature.
Instead of rushing to respond to every event that happens immediately, automatically let customers know when you will return their call or e-mail with an automated message and call them back at your convenience.
6. Don’t wait for the perfect plan
If you are the type to worry about looking silly or making mistakes this may be tough for you.
You will learn a lot more from taking action then imagining and planning. If you are going to fear something happening, don’t fear it because of actions you take, fear not taking action.
Personally, I don’t regret the actions I take, I regret the actions I do not take. Taking action is rarely a bad thing - action leads to growth and profitability for your business.
7. Shoot for great, not for perfect
If you think you have the perfect business, you won’t keep trying to improve. It is better to act now and strive to find a better way, rather than wait for the perfect way to do things.
A lot of people ask about how they can grow their business... the way to do this is to not get too comfortable.
- This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details.