10 tips for Working from Home Efficiently

10 tips for working from home efficiently

So you have decided that working from home is for you.

But you want to make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of wasting hours and hours trying to get yourself motivated and into gear for your day at work. And you want to make sure you aren’t distracted by a quick look on Facebook, or those other admin jobs you wanted to do, or even simply tidying that part of the house that has needed it for ages. The danger with working form home is the distraction. There are so many of them, so how do you make sure you are efficient?.

 

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Here are 10 tips for working from home and how to make sure you are as efficient as possible.

Tip no 1: Define your work space and hours

10 tips for working from home efficientlyIt sounds simple and obvious, but you need to set out a space where you go to everyday that is just yours for work. It needs to be permanent, not the kitchen table which you need to move off when its lunchtime. Now this could be anywhere. I’ve seen office units under stairs, in between the utility room and the kitchen, in the spare bedroom. But as along as its yours, it doesn’t matter. And as long as its fixed. People in your family need to respect these boundaries, and your desk shouldn’t be a place for that extra school bag or Sunday papers. Its yours, keep it that way.

The absolute best solution for creating your own space is to have it outside of the house. If you have a garage that can be converted, or a shed or an outbuilding. Yes, I know, that’s a tough one, and most people don’t, but it’s a consideration.

You will also need to set your hours too. Make sure everyone is aware that this is when you will be working and you are not to be disturbed. you need to be strict with yourself on this or it can go one of 2 ways. You can end up working way more hours over what you would do if you were in the office or you can spend too much time floating around getting very little done. It depends on your personality. I think you will know which one you are.. and what you have a tendency to do.

 

Tip no 2: Design your work space to motivate

10 tips on working from home efficientlyIn my opinion, this is really important! The setting of your home office can make it a really pleasant place to go where you can be really motivated to work, and where you can enjoy being. You can include all sorts of clever wall mountings to make maximum use of space and storage possibilities and clever filing systems to keep your projects neat and organised.

Lighting is key, and can make or break a room. You can use colour to create a vibe, and choose between energetic or relaxing and you can use art to keep you motivated.  This can be anything from motivating typography to imagery that inspires you such as a dream of a holiday that you would like to go to if your business reaches a certain milestone. Personally, the dream of travel and holidays does it for me. But then I live in England and any promise of sunshine and clear skies is something I often dream about!

Watch this space for an article I am currently working on an article about this very topic and decorating your home office, so there is plenty more information here. So much motivation can come from the furniture you use, the positioning of your things. I could go on forever, but this is a separate subject in itself, and I don’t want to sound like I think I’m an interior designer. But sometimes I think I am!

 

 

 

Tip no 3: Get your technology covered

10 tips for working from home efficientlyThis doesn’t have to cost the earth if you start with the very basics. To look professional, you need to have at least the basics of a professional. Make sure your Wifi is reliable and your broadband speed is fast. You probably need to upgrade from standard home broadband to a speed of about.. xxxx

In addition, I think a landline is really important. Although mobiles are so good these days, landlines set up your office and make sure you sit down and focus on those relevant calls. You will need to set up a call forwarding system to your mobile if you need to pop put with your work hours.

Your hardware. You will need a decent computer and printer. I will assume you have a computer covered, as this is a no brainer, but a printer… I always thought you could get away without having a printer, but it really is essential.. Ideally if you can get something that has a scanner and photocopier included that would be great, they are called All in ones. They really are so cheap nowadays and really great value. You’ll thank me for insisting.

A website. You will need a website for your business, This naturally depends on your type of business, but if you are setting up on your own, a business cannot operate today without one. Sound a bit daunting, but there are ways you can set one up for FREE within 30 seconds and be up and running. It’s no joke. Try this below.

 

Tip no 4: Make sure you have all the right tools

12 free tools which help me work from homeI’m talking about tools to make your life easier and make you look like you have a team behind you when really it’s just you. I have written a whole article on this with 12 FREE tools that do just this. I couldn’t get through my day without every single one of these. Have a look at my article. It covers everything to quickly and professionally create artwork for you, to helping you with keyword search for your website content and organisational tools helping you to organise your thoughts. And the best part is, they are all FREE!

 

10 tips for working from home efficientlyTip no 5: Start scheduling

Sounds simple. Of course you would, but this is very key. It’s easy to get carried away just doing and running away with yourself. Set yourself some key milestones and targets that you want to work towards. Write them up on a wall calendar and stick to them, it is as simple as this. You don’t need fancy software.  You would have to schedule your time if you were working on projects in the office, so work to the same principle. You need to be strict with yourself. Having your schedule or timing plan on the wall right in front of you makes sure you don’t forget!

 

Tip no 6: Have an ideas board

10 tips for working from home efficientlyYou know the times when you have a brainwave, and then it goes and you lose it forever. If you have an ideas board nearby when something pops into your head, up it goes.

Mine is a whiteboard which is just to the side of my desk, so that I can jot things down, even if I’m not working.

I know some people prefer to have a notepad for this, but make sure its a specific notepad, specifically for this purpose so that your ideas don’t get lost along with your to do list.

 

Tip no 7: Take breaks and Exercise

10 tips for working from home efficientlyDon’t worry, I am not going to start telling you about jumping jacks and press ups, but I think this one speaks for itself. They say every 40 minutes you should step away from your computer and have a 15 minute break. This makes you more productive and gives you time to come back to it. I think this is key! It also gives your eyes a rest from the computer and ensures that you rest your brain. I use this time to have a glass of water (at least), as we all know water is probably the best thing for our minds and body.

Also, I would really suggest you get outside. I’m not saying every 40 minutes, but say in your allocated lunch break, go for a 15 minute walk, get some fresh air, do a quick errand. whatever you need… and make sure you do have an allocated lunch break. I am guilty of working straight through I get on a roll and all of sudden the time hits you and you realise you completely missed your lunch. It’s important this one. Food is fuel. Especially Chocolate, that’s like rocket fuel they say..;-)

 

Tip no 8: Mark the end of the day

10 tips for working from home efficientlyThis falls into the same category as defining your work hours. But ending your working day is crucial. No sneaky trips back to the office to ‘just finish that’. When you day is finished, your day is finished.

You need time to relax and re-cooperate otherwise you will burn out and lose impetus for the next day and the day after. Anything you think off that you needed to do, write it down and do it first thing tomorrow.

Just remember if you were in the office you would’t go back so treat it the same.

 

question markTip no 9: Keep re-evaluating

Keep asking yourself whether working from home is really for you. Check that you are happy with being alone most of the day and that you are still productive. I recommend doing this at least once a month. It is possible to easily slip into a cycle where you are not happy without even realising it. Working from home doesn’t work for everyone so make sure you keep checking.

 

Tip no 10: Enjoy it

10 tips for working from home efficientlyYou are doing this for you. For your business. If you are not working on your own business, but working for someone else at home, make sure you remember why you are working from home. Think about the benefits, and how it’s better for you than the office. I find it’s worth having this written as a list so if I ever doubt a decision, I can refer back to it. Just a thought.

And if you are working for someone else, wouldn’t it be great if you could do this for yourself? Here’s my no 1 recommendation of a business opportunity where working for yourself from home could become a reality, and if you are really serious, just register here for FREE

 

 

If you have nay more tips on being more efficient, I would love to hear them.., please leave them below and I will get back you right away!

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19 thoughts on “10 tips for Working from Home Efficiently

  1. Netta says:

    Hey Ruth:

    For me the most valuable tip is no. 8. THAT one’s always a difficulty when the “office” is just a step away from the dining room table. (What am I saying? It’s ON the dining room table….)

    Still, the way I figure it, it’s a better obsession than reality TV, right? However, NOT having an end-of-the-day marker does tend to lead to major burn-out. So…I’m going to work on that one.

    Thanks for the clarity.

    Bless…
    Netta

    • Ruth says:

      Hi Netta

      Happy to help. I always find that a difficult one myself, and the dining room table is a BIG cuprit! Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Pitin says:

    Hi Ruth,

    It is quite hard for me to work at home because our house is a bit small and my “office” is the living room. I have to wait for my daughter to sleep in the afternoon before I can start working. Also, she doesnt sleep for very long, so the next opportunity I can work would be at night after she is asleep. Most of the time, it would be almost midnight already. Do you have any tip for me?

    • Ruth says:

      Hi Pitin

      I think your predicament is not unusual. I too only work when my children are asleep and well into the night. I think, unless you have childcare there is no other option that this. Soon, and we all know how this time flies so quickly, your daughter will at school or nursery and you will have all the time in the world. IN the meantime, just do what you can, and don’t get stressed that you can’t do as much as you want. Your time will come.

      I hope that helps?

  3. Andres Santos says:

    Nice article. Having a separate work space definitely helps. working in the living room is not a good idea, too many distractions. I work on my dining room table early in the morning, because no one is awake but me. When the kids wake up, I move to the desk in my room. I love the idea board. I never thought of that. The main and most important to me was setting a schedule. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself working all day and leaving your family wondering why.

  4. Merceadez says:

    I really like your article. It was so informative and helpful. I work at home and have a home office, but its not pretty there is no design to it. The part of your article were you talks about making the space inspiring and beautiful really helped me. I did not even think of this before but it makes sense, I spend so much time in my office, so i should make it a place that I want it to be.

    • Ruth says:

      Hi Merceadez, I do think your working environment is essential to your productivity. Take some time out of work to really set up and make it your own. I will soon be writing an article on home office design which might give you some inspirational ideas. Watch this space!

  5. Richard U. says:

    This is really a great tips and quite frankly i may have not thought about some of this in such detailed planning already.

    Thanks for posting such tailor made approach and i am even beginning to consider revamping mine up like those in the picture for onward peaceful working space.

    Thanks again and i will keep an eye open for your next post.

  6. Melody says:

    This are really great tips. I just managed to get a space dedicated to my business but never thought of an ideas board. That would be perfect for me. I come up with ideas all the time but forget them when I sit to work. I’ve just added a cork board and post it notes to my shopping list. 🙂

    I also appreciate the idea of schedule. If we were working away from home we would have one so it must be considered. Of course working from home means it can be flexible. bonus.

    All of these tips hit home for me. Some things to think about for sure.

  7. alisonklingvall says:

    Really great tips.

    I’ve just started working from home and it’s going well. I think i’m more productive than I have ever been in an office with other people, even though I will admit to getting up and cleaning a lot when I’m thinking about an idea and then I also have pets who don’t understand about working hours.
    But I do like your suggestion about the end of the day. I’m getting a lot better at that. I think I need a calendar though to put a time frame on my projects.
    Any suggestions on how to set realistic goals? I hate setting them and not meeting them!

    • Ruth Maisey says:

      Hi Alison, thanks for your comments. I always find its best to be a bit easy on yourself with goals.The best way to give yourself targets it to break each task down into little bits, so that you can reach mini milestones at regular intervals. Then you are continually achieving and that’s really satisfying! I hope that helps!

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