Oct 6, 2012

Tips for Boosting Workspace Productivity

4 “stay productive” methods that keep me focused on work


As a writer who works from home, I understandably suffer bouts of being unproductive—when the house is a mess, when my kids are home from school, on the days I’m just unmotivated and procrastinating. I suffer from productivity loss at home just like folks at the office suffer in large and small corporate offices.
Home businesses are no different—however when you’re attempting to balance a full time job with another full time job (parenting), things can get a little hairy when it comes to staying focused on work. Since I’ve been working at home for some time now (I’m by no means perfectly focused), but I do have a few “stay productive” tips that I’d like to share….

1. Carve out a space that’s dedicated to work
That means, don’t make the mistake I did and spend the first month working from home from your kitchen table and wondering “why am I not productive?” No, in order to encourage healthy focus; one needs to set the atmosphere of healthy focus early on. And by that I mean setting up a space that’s completely dedicated to your work. You have an office or cubicle when you’re working for someone else, right? Do the same for yourself (preferably in a space with a door that closes) and you will find that you’re better able to concentrate on the work at hand—and not the kids, the laundry, and all the other things around the home.

2. Work with your working style
When I started my home business I had these grand ideas about waking up real early and working my day so I could quit work early to go to the gym and have dinner ready for the family when they got home. The reality of that whole “ideal” scenario is that I’m not a morning person, I’ve never been a morning person, and I’m never likely to start being a morning person. The moral of that story is to stay realistic and work with what you got. That means taking a good hard look at your own limitations, accepting them and creating your new work life based around that reality. I’ve since learned to accept my own quirks and even learned to rely on experts for things that I’m not so good at (i.e., my business accounting) so I can focus my productivity on what I’m good at and enjoy (i.e., writing).

3. Get your inspiration from external sources
As a writer, I work on my own for most of the day. That means when I get a little stifled creatively, I have to look to external sources for inspiration—such as my friends and family, other business professionals in my field, my clients, and yes, even my competitors. They’ve all got lessons to teach. When I go for my daily runs, I use this time to soak in and refuel—from advertisements on the subway to conversations over coffee with my weekly book club—I’m constantly looking for sources of inspiration to help refuel my professional life. I take these experiences and work them into my stories and my creative ideas.

4. Be easier on yourself
Come on, no one is perfect, and we can’t be good at everything we try and successful when it comes to every single work project we touch. As a business owner, I’m still constantly learning and perfecting my skills every single day. If I were to concentrate on the negative all the time (i.e., the days I have to neglect work to pick up my sick child from school or the days I have to neglect my children to finish and important client project), I’d be criticizing myself constantly—which is hardly productive. Instead, I aim for a healthy balance and when I’m feeling stressed, I learn to say no. I’ve also incorporated tools to help make my job easier—office tools like my handy little electronic transcription let me transcribe interviews into Word documents digitally, because let’s face it, otherwise it would never get done. I also purchased one of those glass white boards to keep office paper work off my desk, otherwise I’d be swimming in paperwork, and clutter really staunches my creative juices.

About The Author
Angela is a staff writer for Apron Addicts, a blog about kitchen fashion and home style. Angela also likes to write about mobile technology, business, productivity, and anything else that catches her attention.

Thanks Angela for sharing your tips. It surely helps every woman who prefers to work from home.  Now I know what to do :) 

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