Many advantages come with running your business from your home, such as reduced overhead costs and flexible working hours, to name a few. However, there are also disadvantages when you run a home-based business, one of the biggest ones being an increased amount of distractions around you.
The presence of distractions at home can easily affect your productivity, which, of course, can be detrimental to your business. To keep your business productive and separate your work and home lives, here are several strategies that you can try:
1. Enforce strict business hours
One of the most significant advantages of running a home-based business is that you can work anytime you want, but there is a big downside to this. If you start work late, you will also end up working late. If you space out your working hours and do non-work-related things in between, your work-life balance will suffer. So what do you do?
Treat your business like a traditional job and set regular working hours. In this way, you can remain focused on your business during work hours and reserve personal time after the workday. Aside from helping you stay disciplined, following regular working hours will ensure that you have enough time for yourself and your family at the end of the day.
2. Don’t rely on overtime
When you run a home-based business, it can be tempting to leave some work undone since you can always do it after dinner or over the weekend. But not only can this habit affect your work-life balance, but it can also be bad news for your productivity levels.
So finish that order of water-resistant sunscreen, send those emails to your clients, and finish your work before the end of the day. Just because you can freely do overtime doesn’t mean you should, and if you must do overtime, it should be for additional work, not backlogs.
3. Prioritize tasks accordingly
Plan out your tasks ahead of time and prioritize the ones that are most important or will take the most work to finish. In doing so, you can avoid wasting time on less important tasks, while the most pressing ones are put on the back burner.
4. Avoid distractions
Distractions can hinder you from being at your most productive, so to remain focused during work hours, here are several ways you can avoid distractions at home:
- Keep your smartphone as far away from you as possible if you don’t need it for your work
- Turn off the TV, radio, and other devices that can distract you
- Install apps that block unnecessary websites and notifications during work hours
- Close the door to your home office or seal off the work area from other family members
- Set your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, if possible
5. Set house rules
It is crucial to set boundaries with your family when you are running a business from home. Make them understand that just because you are running the business at home doesn’t mean you are not working. If you have children, instruct them to avoid distracting you with non-urgent matters during work hours. The same goes for partners and other people in the household. Let them know that want to focus on your work during work hours, and then you are free to attend to their concerns afterward.
If you have small children that need round-the-clock attention, consider hiring a daytime babysitter or nanny to help you remain focused on your business during the day.
6. Leave other obligations for later
During work hours, it’s okay to do a short household task here and there, as long as it’s not interfering with your productivity. But for tasks that require a lot of time and effort, reserve those for after work or during your days off.
7. Get enough rest
It seems a bit counterintuitive but having enough rest helps your brain be more focused, which, in turn, helps improve productivity and concentration. That said, try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, and if you feel sleepy during the day, take a 10 to 20-minute power nap to refresh your mind.
You are your own boss when you have your own business, but it doesn’t mean you can slack off on your work responsibilities. To remain productive throughout the workday and maintain a healthy work-life balance, start using these strategies today.
Do you have more productivity tips to share with fellow entrepreneurs? Let us know in the comments below.