How to be productive working from home

Increasing productivity in your home office

Small business owners who work from home and don’t have an office to go to outside of the home, face a very specific challenge when trying to run their business. This challenge is the ability to focus specifically on work and not let day to distractions around the home pull you away from your business tasks. If you are going to run a home based business you really do need to treat it as just that, a business. It is all too easy to take that phone call from a friend or go pop some laundry in the machine. Stop! This is a business that must have some set guidelines if it is going to be a success and not just a hobby.

Follow a few tips here of how to ensure you are productive when working from a home office.

Office design

As in the article How to set up your home office, a proper design can contribute to your productivity at home. Consideration needs to be given to the area of the house you use as an office in order to give you privacy and minimise distractions as much as possible

Space needs to be maximised so that you have everything around you that you need in order to work in an efficient and organised manner.  Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place.  It is all too easy for other family members come and move things which then up lost, a particular problem if you have small children.

Create a work day schedule

If you want to be productive, create a schedule and stick to it.  Waking up when you feel like it and taking long lunch breaks is not most conducive to a successful business.  Decide on your working hours and plan your day around this.  On the flip side, it is also important to have a cut off time and not find yourself working late into each evening.  This is a sure fire way of your family starting to resent what you do and their support going into decline.

Work/Life balance

Too many people are under the illusion that working from home is easier and less demanding that regular office work.  The truth is that working from home is quite often a lot harder, longer hours and demands more attention.  Therefore, interruptions need to be controlled which can be one of the most difficult things to deal with.  Let friends know what your work schedule is and explain that you cannot stop everything if they pop over for a coffee.  Tell your family what time you will be finishing each day and when they can have your undivided attention.  And then do just that.  Stop and give them the attention they deserve.  No stopping in the middle of a conversation with them to just finish off a task you have suddenly thought about.

Know Your Priorities

Prioritise your work for the next day the night before and then when you get up in the morning, make sure you complete the priority tasks first and foremost.  Knowing the most urgent and important has been completed will help relieve stress and help your focus on other tasks during the day.  If you don’t do the priority tasks first they will just play on your mind and dull your focus when doing anything else.

One way to help set priorities is to look at each task and ask yourself which is taking your closer to your ultimate goal and which is not having any effect.  Within this will be which tasks are going to make you money and which are not, such as playing around with a different colour scheme for your logo.

Take a break

When we work continually we put ourselves in danger of burn out.  At the very least, we get tired and de-motivated which affects our performance and productivity.  It is so important to plan and take breaks.  Schedule a half hour walk in the fresh air each day.  I promise that no matter how busy you think are and can’t spare the time, when you return you will feel so much better and will have much better focus.  Block out at least one day each week to rest and recharge and do the things you love.  Again, you will feel better for it and re-charged for getting back to work the next day.


Following these tips can make working from home as productive and effective as working in a regular office.