The future isn’t real. And it’s killing your ability to get anything done. It’s true!!!
According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, we categorize our tasks into two columns:
Now and later.
But the truth is that later tasks never get done, which only leaves now, and this is a tricky place!
Especially when it comes to building a business and managing your focus from the comforts—and responsibilities, endless distractions, and urgent demands—of home.
It’s not easy.
This is particularly true if you’re trying to build a business in your “spare time.” After dealing with the daily hassles of your “nine-to-five,” the amount of work you need to get done only seems to pile up as the days go by.
There’s always another email to read, another webinar to watch, another notification from Facebook…
And these things are keeping you from creating a lifestyle business where you’ve got as much time as you’d like to spare with friends and family (and hobbies and travel…or maybe even sitting around doing nothing at all!).
After all, you’re building a business to have more time, not less, right?
So what do we do?
One, make the conscious decision that your time is a precious, endangered resource.
Two, create an infrastructure and an environment that reduces distractions and pulls you away from your focus—because if you don’t focus on what matters then you’ll find distractions to focus on instead.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD EMMA'S
FREE Time Management Workbook…
Now with every blog post from Emma Johnson and Co, I like to make sure that you are getting the most value possible so each edition contains a FREE resource that you can download and implement right away and create results quickly in your business.
This week, since we’re talking about productivity, and organizing your day I’m giving you FREE access to my Time Management Workbook.
Regardless of which industry you are in, this action plan workbook will enable you to plan your working week perfectly whilst still having that all important time for yourself and your family.
Let’s dig in…
Here are my top 12 tips on how to optimize your home workspace and get things done:
1. Establish a Dedicated Workspace
Your home office doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole room. But it should be a defined space used exclusively for work.
Having a designated space will allow you to get (and remain) in the “working mindset” much more easily. By stepping into your designated workspace, your mind and body will unconsciously understand it’s time to get down to business.
This is proven.
While you may feel the need to take your laptop into the living room, just to mix things up a bit from time to time, you still need a dedicated workspace to go back to when the distractions of the outside world just won’t leave you alone.
2. Ergonomics and Comfort
You can get so much more work done when you don’t have to constantly adjust your posture to avoid discomfort.
A desk that is the right height and a suitable chair to go with it are key items in your home office.
Invest in a comfortable chair that provides proper lumbar support—your back will be forever grateful.
Your chair should allow your feet to rest flat on the ground—no dangling!
Everyone has a different type of body, and there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to ergonomic support, so choose what works best for you.
Finally, remember to stretch your legs every so often. Stand up and take a short walk up and down the hall; it’ll help you to avoid overwhelm, and maybe even pull you out of writer’s block every once in a while.
3. Keep the Blood Pumping!
Whether at home or at the gym, make sure exercise is part of your daily life to get the blood pumping. Regular exercise reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and other conditions such as diabetes. Not to mention, exercise usually provides an excellent outlet for accumulated stress!
Many people have busy schedules—especially those working a full-time job or juggling a family and building a network marketing business from home—and it’s sometimes difficult to squeeze in an hour of exercise into their routines.
Do a few sit ups while your kids are riding the swings; speed things up when taking the dog out for a walk; run up and down the stairs a few times (works better when holding a laundry basket for increased resistance)…but always keep moving!
So get up and get creative.
4. Don’t Sacrifice Sleep!
With so many things to do, some people may feel inclined to sacrifice sleep in order to put in as much work as possible before hitting the hay. However, these people don’t even realize they’re actually hurting themselves—and decreasing their productivity—when they put work ahead of a good night’s sleep.
Did you realise that every hour of sleep that you sacrificed reduces your overall wellbeing, as well as your productivity and the ability to think clearly?
While some things definitely can’t wait, everyone should learn how to recognize and admit when their mind and body are yearning for some well-earned rest.
5. Eat Right
I think at some point or another we have all been guilty of grabbing a quick bite from our favorite fast-food restaurant, which just so happens to be on the way back home from work instead of opting for a healthy home cooked meal!
But actually, the types of foods we consume can have a huge influence on our health and well being, much more than the total caloric intake. In other words, quality of food matters more than quantity.
Now that is not to say we shouldn’t enjoy a treat but we need to learn how to balance that doughnut or slice of pizza with an equal (or greater) amount of healthier choices.
Working from 9 to 5 and then coming home to build a business might leave very little time to count calories and read the label on everything we eat; but with a bit of organization you can benefit not only your body, but your business too!
6. Stay Organized
To be able to work at home efficiently, you need to be organized … plain and simple.
This doesn’t mean you need to change how you store files or important emails, but you need to be able to find documents without having to turn your office (or hard drive) upside down.
Figure out a system which will allow you to find what you need in a matter of minutes (seconds if possible). The faster you access important documents and information, the faster you’ll get your work done! Just remember to also go through it every now ang again and have a good clear out!
Nowadays, hard drive manufacturers seem to keep making them bigger and bigger, but actually most people don’t need a bigger hard drive, they just need less data.
7. Invest in a Quality PC (or Mac!)
People who get stingy end up spending twice as much in the long run.
While every person working from home has different needs, they all require a “solid,” reliable computer to get their work done. Graphic designers and animators may require a better graphics processing unit, while bootstrapped online marketers and home-based business owners could make do with the “bare technical necessities” if necessary.
David Allen, in his book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity says:
“You increase your productivity and creativity exponentially when you think about the right things at the right time and have the tools to capture your value-added thinking.”
A smaller screen can help you become more organized and force you to use your space more efficiently; however, a larger screen, or even multiple screens, can also improve your productivity.
It’s a matter of finding out what works best for you.
8. Have a Backup Plan
What happens if your Internet goes down? Can you find another computer to work on if yours happens to suffer an unfortunate accident? Is there a copy of your email contact list in case your hard drive suddenly breaks?
According to author and futurist Alvin Toffler:
“Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate.”
As technology moves forward, people tend to depend on it way too much.
You don’t have to anticipate every single possible setback, but having a backup plan ready for anything that might actually bring your work to a complete halt is just common sense.
9. Spend Time with the Family
The Human race is constantly trying to find balance; and in pretty much everything in life, balance is the hardest thing to achieve.
Family and business should never be in conflict.
The key is to establish a routine in order to avoid sacrificing the already scarce quality time with the family while still being able to get some work done before calling it a night.
Including some family time as part of a daily routine is essential to avoid alienating those we care about the most.
Whether it’s at the dinner table, a few minutes before locking yourself in your home office, or right before putting the kids to bed, we should make time to spend with our families as part of our daily schedules.
10. Set Goals, Limits, and Boundaries
Set milestones and reward yourself for achieving your goals. Regardless of how small a reward may be, you’ll find it’s easier to stay motivated when there is something waiting for you at the end of the road.
Rewards can be anything from a bite-sized chocolatr bar or that video on YouTube that you enjoy so much, to a delicious icecream on a hot, sweaty day, or taking a short break to catch up on Facebook.
Limits are so important! Obviously, eating too much chocolate will hurt anybody’s waistline just as spending too much time on Facebook will hurt their productivity.
There should also be a limit to the amount of daily work. Working too hard will only lead to overwhelm. Only you can decide how much work is too much, and you need to be honest with yourself to avoid “slacking off” or burning the candle at both ends.
Not everyone is a workaholic and, of course, some days may be busier than others; but once you determine that the work day is done, you should stop constantly checking your phone for any new emails or trying to get a head start on tomorrow’s work.
11. Always Make a To-Do List and Prioritize
Some people think writing things down on a piece of paper as an aid to remember what needs to be done is a bit old-fashioned, maybe even useless. The truth is that making a to-do list will help anyone prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently.
Building a business in the morning might be difficult, even more so for those who need to head out for work every single day. However, prioritizing tasks and crossing them off a to-do list also works for anyone building a business in their spare time.
Once you’ve optimized your environment for uninterrupted focus…
You need to know exactly where to focus so that you’re not wasting your time, spinning your wheels, and chasing after the next too-good-to-be-true “bright shiny object.”
You don’t just need goals, you need the right goals and a proven strategy for how to focus on and implement them.
Otherwise you risk never gaining enough momentum to get your business off the ground.
It’s no secret that over 80% of new businesses fail.
And many people struggle for years and years to gain any traction and start earning more than they spend. Sadly, most never do.
But it doesn’t have to be this way for you.
If you would like to reclaim your work/life balance then make sure to grab this week’s FREE download
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD EMMA'S
FREE Time Management Workbook
Cheers to your success!
And if you found this content helpful, I would love it if you shared this with any other entrepreneurs whom you think can benefit from a little organisational help!
Online Business and Mindset Rapid Transformation Coach and Super Mompreneur!