As a small business working from home, you probably find that you are always busy doing something for the business. Perhaps you are sorting out the finances, or dealing with customers, whatever it is, you can quickly find that you are spending every hour working. What you need to do is find a way to make yourself and your company more productive and efficient. Here are a few tips for maximizing your productivity while still being efficient.
Gauge How Much Time You Spend on Tasks
Even though you might give yourself a certain amount of time to do tasks, you probably aren’t accurately keeping to those targets. Research has shown that only around 17 percent of people can accurately estimate the amount of time. With this in mind, trying to find a way of keeping your schedule will eliminate wasted time. There are many apps on the market that can help you to see how much time you are spending on individual tasks. That way, you know when you have spent enough time, and you can move on to the next task.
Take Regular Breaks
You might think that taking regular breaks is counterproductive, but in fact, it can make you more efficient and help you to keep working for longer. Try to schedule breaks into your day the way you would your activities. It will help you to stick to the routine and help you to rest. If you keep working through the day without taking any breaks, you will eventually get tired and not work at your optimum level of productivity.
Set Yourself Deadlines
Deadlines aren’t as bad as you think, especially when you set them yourself. Although you don’t want to put yourself under undue stress, a little can be a good thing, and setting deadlines will help you to complete things more efficiently. If you have a task without a deadline, then there is the temptation to waste time while doing it because you think you can. In fact, you are just delaying something else you could be doing after this task. Set yourself a realistic, yet slightly challenging deadline, and you will benefit from it.
Give Yourself Working Hours
As well as trying to be more productive, you also want to have some personal time with your family. That is why you need to set yourself some working hours for example, from nine to five pm. If you do this, you will find that you are working better because you know you only have until five o’clock to finish. It will keep you focused and also give you an end to your day instead of working into the night. It also means you can set your hours on other aspects of your life such as your partners’ hours or school times.
Working from home has many benefits, but there can also be some issues. One such problem is getting distracted by other things going on around you. If you are always looking to help with tasks around the house, or you are getting distracted by the TV or radio, then your productivity will drop. The best way to avoid distraction is to have a dedicated place to work such as a spare room or a purpose-built shed in the garden. It needs to be somewhere that won’t get too much noise and where you can shut the door when you need to concentrate. It is also important that you tell your family and friends that when you are working, they need to try not to interrupt you if possible. It might sound harsh, but it will help you to focus on your business.
Hold Virtual Meetings
Some of the biggest amounts of time that’s wasted is traveling to and from meetings. If you can remove this time by having meetings online, then you will be saving a big chunk of your day that you can spend doing something else. Another reason why video meetings are a good idea is that it allows you to meet with people from other countries without having the cost of travel and the time spent getting there. These are probably the only times when you can work outside your hours, especially if there is a considerable time difference.
Hire People to Help You
If you have the spare budget and you are looking to offload some of your tasks, then why not hire one or more staff members to help you? However, recruiting them can be problematic, especially as you need to think about the package you give them and where they will work. One solution to this is to hire freelancers to help you, they can do a lot of the work from home, and you can keep in touch via video link. For example, if you need someone to write some content for your website, then you could use a company such as SEOClerks to find a freelancer who can help you. The biggest advantage of using a freelance worker is that you can hire them when you need to, and task them with the jobs you don’t have the time to do yourself.
It is important to take the initiative and start to chase people instead of waiting for them to get back to you. Being proactive will mean you can deal with certain tasks, deadlines, and issues when you have the time, and not when others dictate. You should also do this with all of your work, and go out and find your customers and schedule them in when you are free instead of them all trying to book the same time. Being organized and efficient is vital for any business owner, and implementing this at home can be more of a challenge, but is certainly worth it.
Being productive when you are working on your own might sound easy, but it can actually be hard to do. To get the best out of your day, you need to be organized and dedicated to your work but also allow for personal time too.