Having a home-based business is great, it offers so much flexibility and convenience, reduces risk and overheads, and allows you to connect with your core values like spending time with your family.
But there is a downside. It is very easy to get distracted.
However, there are some simple things you can do to minimise distractions and keep your productivity on track.
Here are 6 tips to stay focused when you have a home-based business
1. Create a dedicated work space
Having a dedicated work space helps with separating business from home life. Your work space should just be for business activities only, this assists with getting in the right frame of mind allowing you to focus on your business. Having a dedicated business space also helps to provide boundaries with other household members, when they see you in your work space it means you are working and therefore are not to be disturbed. You may not have enough space in your home to have a dedicated home office, in which case even a small area dedicated to business activities will do, and do make sure you keep your work space well organised, the more organised your work space the better your productivity.
2. Communicate expectations with others
Just because you are running a business from home does not mean you are always available. You might be at home, but you are working. Make sure you communicate your boundaries and expectations with family, friends and other household members.
Here are a couple of tips to reinforce your boundaries while you are working:
- Close the door to indicate to others you are working and not to disturb you
- Wear headphones to signal you are not available this also helps with muffling any distracting noise
3. Structure and prioritise your day
One of the major benefits of a home-based business is having the flexibility and freedom to control when you work. But if you want to be super focused and productive, then you need to set priorities and schedule your day by creating a time slot for the activities that need to be done. First, identify the tasks that will make the most impact to your business and focus on them, if you can, outsource low level tasks that need to be done but aren’t the best use of your time. Next, develop a consistent schedule which not only includes start/stop times to complete the task, but also add in the times you will take a break.
- 9:00 – 9:30 check and respond to emails
- 9:30 – 10:30 write content for online training program
- 10:30 – 11:00 break
- 11:00 – 12:00 create and schedule social media posts for the week
- 12:30 – 1:00 cash flow forecast
- 1:00 – 2:00 lunch
- 2:00 – 3:30 client work
- 3:00 – 3:30 client calls
- 3:30 – 4:00 break
- 4:00 – 5:00 client work
Now of course you don’t have to do 9:00-5:00. As a home-based business owner you have the flexibility of choosing your own working hours. Maybe your work day includes working first thing in the morning or at night to accommodate children or other personal obligations.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar
4. Decide how you will manage your household chores
When you have a home-based business, household chores can be a major distraction. For some, working in chaos and untidiness can also be a distraction and a hindrance to productivity. Your particular tolerance to messiness will determine how you manage your household chores, but do make sure tidying and cleaning isn’t a procrastination tactic.
Here are a few of options to help you work out how you will manage household chores:
- no household chores during work hours
- no major household chores during work hours, but a quick clear-up or putting on a load of washing during your designated break times is allowed
- schedule household chores/personal errands into your day
- hire a professional cleaner
5. Get out of your pyjamas
Tempting as it might be to run your small business while remaining in your pyjamas all day, getting showered and dressed for the work day ahead will help you switch to a business mindset and make you feel like you are actually working. Getting dressed for business (it doesn’t have to be a business suit, just something that signifies to you that you are working on your business) will boost your motivation and productivity.
6. Work away from home sometimes
Having a home-based business can be lonely and isolating at times, which can have negative psychological effects. Make sure you get out, interact and socialise with others. Depending on the task and how deeply you need to concentrate, there are times when it is more stimulating to work where there is a little noise and hustle and bustle in the background, and working at a coffee shop could just be what you need.
A home-based business has many advantages, but it can be difficult if you are not prepared for its challenges.