In today's working world, more and more companies are adapting to the working from home option. More and more people are deciding to launch their own businesses and until that business reaches a certain level, the home is the place where it all happens.
For the Creative Entrepreneur working from home is common place.
For the Creative Entrepreneur, it is also difficult to zone in on one thing at a time.
The distraction of shiny new projects and new ideas are constant. You may start a sketch book for a new series of paintings, which is the focus for the morning. The ideas board is pinned and then, something on the radio catches your attention, and wheeeeeeee! off the mind goes.....new notebook, a new idea. Then onto the Internet to research this area in more detail.
An enormous amount of open tabs later, BOING BOING and then it is 5pm.
Oops! How did that happen!
So how can you organise yourself to create a productive 'Working From Home', environment.
Let us look at some tips that have worked for my 'easily distracted Biscuity mind'.
1. KNOW YOUR RHYTHM
This is key for the Creative.
Unlike many other types of individuals, we tend to be inspired at different points in the day. For me, my idea generation moments are usually from 7-8am or 9-10pm. I like to be at my desk ready for the day at 8.45am, to make my daily list by 9am. Featured on my list are the few ideas that may have come to me earlier that morning, whilst blo-drying my hair.
My point with this is - over the next week or so - keep a wee journal of your thought process throughout the day. Are you a morning productive junkie or do you seem to get through alot of work in the afternoon like after lunch, or are you a typical night owl. When the world is silent your creative mind explodes.
When does it happen for you.
Know this and arrange what you do according to your personality.
- You tend to plough through your list in the morning, then make sure you put priority jobs on that morning list. The jobs you tend to put off - like VAT snore returns!
- If you write well in the evening when the house is quiet and darkness sets in - then schedule your blog postings then.
2. CREATE A DEFINITE WORK SPACE
Whether you have a desk in the spare room, a studio space in the garage or a working area in your living room, whatever you have to work with, make sure you make this space inviting and conducive to productivity.
How do you do that Tara?
- Keep your desk as clear and organised as possible. I find having that large drawer underneath my desk a life saver. It all goes in there and away from my brain as I work at my desk. I know it's there, but my focus is just on what I am working at, at that time.
- Have just what you need on your desk. For me, notebook x2, pens, calculator, phone, headset. No reason to leave the desk.
- Make it purdy - I have gotten into the habit of buying some nice flowers for my desk every few days. When flowers don't happen I burn some oils. Make the space inviting to sit in. If you like working to music, then set it up so this is what surrounds you.
- Try to position your space near natural light. If this is not a possibility make it a priority to get some flowers to brighten the area.
- Use the walls around your desk. Print out your timetable for your week and stick it on the wall. If you are aiming at a particular goal for the month - print it out and use the ladder system ( see Biscuits Free Mini Course ). Point being, get all your goals, schedules and ideas out of your brain, out of your many notebooks and get them up on your wall. Purchase post-its. Use them!!
3. SET YOUR ALARMS FOR COFFEE BREAKS / LUNCH/CALLS
This is the best bit of advice I have ever been given. Since I have started to do this, my productivity has increased three-fold. When you give yourself a designated time for a break, you tend to work up until that break time. It is you reward.
Setting goals to each of those alarms will focus you.
My alarm goes off at 9am - Start your day!
10.30am - take a break! Cuppa NO computer/phone screen
12.30 with snooze till 12.45 - Finish up..15mins lunch time!
1.45 - Get ready to go back to desk
3.30 - Call a friend/ hang out wash / surf the net
4 - Back to desk
5.15 - Finish up - make list for priority tomorrow
If you are a night time Blogger -on your Blog creation day finish work at 4pm and put your extra hour into the evening time. If you are on a writing roll - do as many Blogs as you can in one sitting and save them.
In theory, this schedule looks great but reality check - what you work on at the beginning of the day, usually runs into the afternoon.
Hey! that is ok. Still take your breaks as scheduled and carry over what you have left to the next day.
The point being is that you get used to a structured outline to your day, like you would in an office environment. Yes, you can be flexible and if something shoots your way and you need to deal with it - then do it, but having a general guideline gives you focus and accountability for your time.
4. THINK SCHOOL
Do you remember what it was like when you got your timetable for school. You knew what class you had, at what time and what room you had to be in. The timetable was your third arm.
Use a timetable for your week.
At 9am on Mondays you work on Scheduling Social Media until your break at 10.30am. ..etc...
Tip of the day - try to do the same thing every Monday - think School Calender.
5. SCHEDULE IN YOUR HOUSE BITS IF YOU HAVE TO, DURING YOUR DAY.
This is super difficult but really important not to let 'The House' become part of your working day. If you have to hang out the wash or put on the potatoes - schedule it into your day. At that mid-afternoon alarm bell - that is what you do. Try not to continue over your allotted time and end up hoovering the whole house (because it had to be done!)
Get used to walking past mess, washing, unmade beds...this is YOUR WORKING DAY - house stuff will be done when your partner arrives home - TOGETHER!!
Have a go at these 5 tips lads - I will share another 5 with you soon!
I would love to know of any tips you may have on, getting work done at home.
Join the conversation over at Bite The Biscuit Facebook group.