How do I make working from home efficient?
I have had trouble focusing when I work from home.
There always seems to be washing to do, the dog to walk, a dinner to prepare for.
What can I do to focus?
That's the problem, you still feel that you're at home. Make a space in the house where you will work and make a mental decision that that space is now your office between 9am to 5pm or whatever working hour you have. Some people found it helpful to leave the house and walk for about 5-10 minutes then walk back into the house straight to the office. That will create the mental impression that you have just walk to your office and now in your office.
Make sure that you keep distractions to minimum, eg.no TV/radio in the office, make sure you prepare food or do the washing the night before or after work, walk the dog before or after your work hour, etc.
Have a tasklist ready before you start work so you know what you need to do that day and tick them off as you finish the tasks. Get a standing desk and a standing mat so that you're more active when you work.
All the best.
Helene Liatsos Owner at Home Office Management Experts
Indeed, there are many distractions when working at home: home phone, chores, neighbors, etc. Over the years, I've developed the discipline to work at the task at hand...I start with making a list. On 1 side are the work tasks: reply to e-mails, work on client files, make/return calls, etc. I set aside the hours I will need to do this and stick to this schedule. On the other side of the list, I write down home chores: shopping, cooking, laundry, etc. I make this list the night before so I know what I have to do the next day. Determine what are the best hours for you to work: are you a morning person or a night owl? A daily schedule is important: do you have children to get ready for school in the morning? Dogs to walk? Check in with elderly parents? Get these done first, then dedicate yourself to your business. I confess...I often throw in a load of laundry before I head to the home office and check on this throughout the day...sometimes it goes into the dinner hour, sometimes I only do 1 load a day. You have to create the structure of how you will work and everyone's needs are different. And finally, I don't often get to finish everything on my list...I do the important ones first and then move the rest of them to the next day....it's okay to do this! Best, Helene
I think you have the same problem a lot of people who work from home have: you don't treat it like it's work from the office.
Basically, that's the first thing you need to do: treat it with the same respect as you would an actual 9-5 job.
Get up early. Eat a hearty breakfast. Grab coffee. Get yourself in front of your desk and begin chipping away at your tasks.
How about dinner and the dog and the dishes? Get a nanny or someone to help you with the chores. If that's not possible, get your work done...and when you've accomplished the work-related tasks for the day...that's when you do everything else.
There's a lot to be thankful for, when you work from home (not being suck in traffic is a huge plus), so make sure you do a great job at keeping your work from home boss/clients happy.
If you want to know a bit more detail about how I succeeded in working from home for more than a decade, just drop me a SavvyMail.
Hope that helps.