Working from home is an exciting notion for many people, but it can also be really difficult at times to stay focused and motivated when you're not in a professional office space. So today I share my 7 tips for home-based entrepreneurs to stay focused and motivated when working from their home office.
I invite you to join me and watch the video below. But if you prefer to simply listen instead, there is an audio version below as well! And of course if you prefer to read, I have that available for you too! Enjoy!
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Have you always dreamed of being able to work from home, but when the time arrived and you got to live that dream, you quickly discovered that you had a challenging time maintaining focus and motivation to actually get your work done? If that sounds like you, you are definitely not alone! And today, I’m going to share with you seven of my favorite tips for keeping that work moving when you are living the dream in your home office.
Welcome to the next episode of the BizMagic Podcast sharing expertise and solopreneur journeys to help business owners find the magic in their businesses by being more productive, focused, and successful.
I’m Patti Meyer, founder of BizMagic, where I help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small business owners clear their plate so they can get back to doing what they love - running their business.
It’s the ultimate goal for many people: no commute, no inter-office drama, no distractions, and maybe even, no pants! That’s the perfect image of what it’s like to work from home. But the reality can sometimes be far different. When there’s no one looking over your shoulder, it’s easier to get distracted with scrolling on Facebook or a little frivolous online shopping. Or suddenly, you remember how badly your kitchen floor needs to be mopped or your paperclips need to be organized. These are all pretty normal situations for those of us that work from home. It isn’t always as glamorous as it’s made out to be. We have to be strong self-starters, comfortable being alone a lot, and have the ability to push all the new distractions that working from our house brings up. Since I’ve been working from home in some form or another for well over a decade, I’m all too familiar with these challenges. So I want to help my fellow home-based entrepreneurs with these great tips to be successful in this comfy and solo environment.
But what if you already have a good grasp on working from home and don’t need any new tips? Then I say, good for you! You rock! But maybe you’ll get a couple new ideas OR maybe you can check out what I have to offer a share a couple of YOUR favorite tips with us!
Either way, let this podcast be your at-home distraction for the day, and let’s get started! But first, remember, not all tips are for everyone. People work best in different ways. These are things that work best for myself and many people I know that work from home. So just pick and choose what works best for you!
Tip number 1: Create a regular routine. While one of the joys of working from home can be not having to set an alarm in the morning, it’s still important to keep a fairly regular schedule. Even if that schedule is working from noon to 8pm. Doing so will put you in the working mindset and you’ll tend to be more focused during those hours and get more done.
Number 2: Get dressed in the morning. I know, I know, “You’re ruinin’ the dream man!” For some people, the most exciting part is working on your couch in your pajamas. But when you stay in your pajamas it can be easier to stay in that weekend mindset. You may not feel as motivated to get things done. Getting dressed usually signals that we are getting ready to do something, and in this case, you are getting ready to get it done!
My third tip: Create a designated workspace in your home. While it’s nice to be able to spread out on your bed or kick your feet up with your laptop on the couch, it’s also nice to be sure you have a regular space that is set aside for your work. There are a few reasons for this. First, if you are working on a computer a lot, having a designated workspace that is set up ergonomically is really important for your body. Just because you don’t work in an office, doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need the same care and caution you give it there. Secondly, when you sit down at your desk, it’s a signal that you are ready to work. Just like getting dressed. This drastically helps you stay focused and motivated on the tasks at hand. Third, when you have a workspace, you tend to be more organized. There is one place that you keep all of your work supplies and you paperwork and tools. That kind of organization can save you time and frustration and keep you focused on your business. Finally, just as sitting down at your workspace is a signal it is time to focus and work, leaving that space can be a signal that you’re done for the day. It’s well known that many entrepreneurs work all the time. And when we don’t have a specific cut off, such as certain working hours or a designated workspace, we are more likely to work in the evenings or on the weekends. This, of course doesn’t always stop that from happening: I wrote my notes for this podcast from my bed on a Saturday, but for the most part, that designated workspace can help!
Tip number 4: Set up meetings throughout the week. Having meetings set with clients, accountability partners, or fellow entrepreneurs, can keep you in that working mind a bit more strongly throughout the week. You are more likely to get up and get your day started, get dressed, and work at your desk, when you have phone or video meetings. So the more you can spread them out throughout the week, the more days you’ll be on your game.
Number 5: If, no matter what you do, you somehow get distracted by social media feeds. Use extensions that hide the feeds during your working hours and remove the apps from your phone. That way, you stay focused on what you have to do and if you go on there for any reason, you won’t see anything to distract you!
6: Take regular breaks throughout the day. And take a proper lunch. Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take the normal breaks you would take while working at an office with others. It is known that taking breaks and moving your body can refresh your mind and help you stay more focused.
And finally, tip number 7: Create a schedule at the start of your day and stick to it. When you sit down to start your day, look at what needs to be done, set your priorities and estimate how long each task will take. Then lay out a schedule for yourself, including breaks, and try to stick to it as much as possible. Some people like to do this on Sunday nights or Monday mornings and plan the whole week, so give that a try if it works better for you.
And those are my seven tips to help you stay focused and motivated when working from home.
As I do every podcast, now I want to hear from you. What is your favorite tip that I shared here or what tip do you have that helps you stay focused at home? Pop your thoughts in the comments below or you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to connect directly.
And if you have any topics or questions that you would like to see me talk about in future episodes of the podcast, please scroll below and click on Ask a Question!
If you’d like to be a guest on the show and share an area of expertise or talk about your solopreneur journey in all its ups, downs, and sideways, you can also do that in the same place by clicking on Be A Guest!
Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you found some value in today’s episode and you’re ready to hit the ground running feeling more focused and motivated in your home office!
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Then join me next time when I give you 5 tips for dealing with stress as an entrepreneur.
Till then, keep the magic in your biz!