What drew you to start your own business from home? The thrill of being your own boss? The desire to build something from the ground up? The undeniable urge to work in your pajamas?
Well, whatever the drive, you’ve done it. You’ve started your own home business. And while we know it’s going to be a runaway success, we also know how difficult it can be to stay motivated and productive while at home. Anyone who has ever worked even one day at home knows how tempting it can be to turn on the TV “just for a minute,” or complete all the chores that suddenly and desperately need your attention.
So here are a few tips, tricks, and hacks to keep your productivity level at an 11 while you build your business from home.
1. Have a dedicated office space
And no, we don’t mean your favorite spot on the couch . Set up a desk or a space that is specifically where you do your work. The very act of “going to work” and moving from your bedroom or living room to this workstation or office space will help you get into the right mindset. Try to limit the surrounding distractions, decorations, and non-necessities, and try not to use this area for anything else than work. Got it?
Apartment too small to sneeze in, let alone set up an office? Find a coffee shop in your neighborhood with reliable WiFi that can act as your unofficial-official office.
2. Dress for the job you want
Even if you work from home and never meet face to face with a customer or client, it’s important to dress for the success you want with your new venture. Now, we’re not saying you have to dress in a suit and tie everyday, or dress up like the superhero you’ve always dreamed of becoming, but putting on a nice shirt and a pair of slacks, skirt, or dress can help push you into the right frame of mind to really work hard.
Because let’s be honest — if you wear your pajama pants while you’re meant to be working, you’ll find it hard to resist doing other things you usually do in those pants. Like sleeping.
3. Create a routine, and stick to it
When you worked in an office, you had a specific routine, right? You got up at the same time every day, got ready, were at work by a certain time, worked for 8 hours, then came home. And why should your home business be any different? We’re not saying that you have to work the same hours as you did before you started your home business, but it is important to have a routine with rigid hours that you keep to.
If you’re more productive from 8am-4pm, work then. If you’re a night owl and want to work from 9pm-2am, then go for it. And if you’re one of those crazy morning people and you want your business hours from 5am to 12pm, then go for it, you dedicated nutjob. This is the City that Never Sleeps after all. Create a routine that works for you and stick to it.
Rome wasn’t in a day. Ikea furniture is built in a day. Do you want your business to be like Ikea furniture? Make sure you take time to relax and step back from your home business. If you’re just starting, it can be tempting to work for 24 hours at a time, sleep for 20 minutes, and then continue working while scarfing down an entire extra large pizza by yourself.
Don’t be that guy. If you followed the other recommendations here, you’ll have set your work hours, and (assuming they weren’t 12am-11:40pm) you should have plenty of time to relax and recharge. Brilliant ideas never come to the stressed, so take a break. You’re business won’t go anywhere if you’ve cracked from the stress.
5. GET OUT
Get out of your house. Not because it’s haunted or someone’s living in your closet or crawlspace (at least, we don’t think so — but you should probably check. You know, just to be safe). Get out of your house to help you recharge and shake out the cobwebs.
Go to Prospect Park and people-watch. Bring your laptop to the coffee shop and read your emails. Take a walk around your block. Make time each day to get out of your house and out of your head. The change of scenery might help break through that problem you’re stuck on. A chat with a friend may inspire your greatest product ever. Just GET OUT.
Too cold outside to venture beyond your front door? Another Nor’easter bringing the city to a halt? Then get out of your head for a few minutes every now and then by walking around your home, walking up and down the halls, or even just checking social media or calling up a friend (or your mom). Taking time to get out of your stress-work-head is what matters.
Just a few simple tips is all it takes to help you push through and become the most productive home business owner in history. And if you need help taking your small business to the next level, or getting your next big idea off the ground, Dime is here to help.