Most people put tasks into two categories: “Now” and “Later”… according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
And “Later” tasks never get done!
Which only leaves now.
“Now” is a tricky place especially when it comes to working from home or building a home-based business and managing your focus from the comforts—responsibilities, endless distractions, and urgent demands—of home.
It's not easy.
And it becomes even more difficult if you're trying to build a business in your “spare time.”
After putting in the required time on your current job, you still have work you need to get done on building a business. These tasks seem to pile up as time goes by.
There's always another email to read, another webinar to watch, another notification from Facebook… and let's not talk about all the training available for almost any subject or marketing tool!
Maybe you're thinking about a side hustle or trying to build a lifestyle business… you know, where you're the person on the beach with a laptop!
So how do you accomplish this?
Distractions pull you away from your focus, and when that happens, you tend to focus on the distractions rather than the work.
Well, here are 12 tips to get more done in less time…
You don't have to have a whole room for your home office, so hang on to the guest room for Aunt Tilly's next visit.
But what you do need is a defined space; a space that isn't used for anything else, which leaves out the living room, dining room, and most certainly the kitchen counter as possible candidates for your defined workspace.
A space designated exclusively for work will allow you to get into a working frame of mind and keep you focused on getting things done. It's a proven fact that enables your mind and body to automatically understand it’s time to get down to business.
That's not to say you can't take your laptop to the living room or out on the patio for a change of pace, but you still need a designated workspace when distractions start to take over.
While colors may have a different effect on different people, some of them have a common effect on the general population.
Green and blue, for example, have soothing effects; Orange can boost people’s enthusiasm; Red used as an accent color can excite and stimulate people. But if Red is used as the main color, such as an entire wall, it can provoke anger and hostility.
To make the most out of the time spent in your home office, the colors you surround yourself with should have a positive effect on your mood which will boost your productivity and creativity.
There is no “one size fits all.” Everyone has a different body type, so when it comes to ergonomic support, choose what works best for you.
Lastly, remember to stretch your legs every so often. It's been suggested every 50 minutes or so to stand up and take a short walk, maybe to the kitchen for a drink of water or something. It can help you to avoid overwhelm, or pull you out of writer’s block.
Make sure exercise is part of your daily life to get the blood pumping. Regular exercise reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and other conditions such as diabetes.
And, exercise usually provides an excellent outlet for accumulated stress!
“The more you move, the better your body works”
– Larry Swanson
Many people have busy schedules—especially those working a full-time job and building a home-based business, and that usually makes it difficult to squeeze in an hour of exercise into their routines.
Of course, adhere to social distancing or any other steps to stay safe and well.
In his book Eat, Move, Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes, Tom Rath, researcher, and renowned speaker, explains that every hour of sleep that is sacrificed reduces a person’s overall wellbeing, as well as his productivity and the ability to think clearly.
Some people are inclined to sacrifice sleep in order to put in as much work as possible done before calling it quits and getting to bed. What they don't realize is they’re actually hurting themselves, and decreasing their productivity when they put work ahead of a good night’s sleep.
In Eat, Move, Sleep, Rath mentions a study from Harvard—which tracked more than 100,000 people for twenty years—that discovered how the types of foods consumed can influence a person’s health much more than the total caloric intake.
In other words, quality of food matters more than quantity.
Also, as the book’s subtitle suggests, little changes can greatly impact your overall health and well-being.
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to replace every single thing I eat with fresh veggies. Rather than give up everything you enjoy, Roth suggests we learn how to balance that doughnut or slice of pizza we occasionally eat with an equal (or greater) amount of healthier choices. Ok; I can do that.
Especially now, after working a full day at your regular job and building a home-based business, you might not feel like making yourself a healthy meal… but filling up on junk food just because it's easier isn't the answer.
This one especially speaks to me! If you're going to be efficient you have to be organized. You need to be able to find documents without having to turn your office (or hard drive) upside down. Trying to find a doc or file can be a real time suck.
Quick access to important information will result in getting your work done faster!
Emily Parks, productivity consultant and owner of Organize for Success, stresses the importance of regularly reviewing files and software on your computer to eliminate anything that might be causing “electronic clutter.”
It seems we don't need bigger and bigger hard drives, what we need is less data!
People who get stingy end up spending twice as much in the long run.
Every person working from home may have different needs, but they all require a “solid,” reliable computer to get their work done.
David Allen, in his book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity says:
“You increase your productivity and creativity exponentially when you think about the right things at the right time and have the tools to capture your value-added thinking.”
While graphic designers and animators may require a high-end graphics processing unit, bootstrapped online marketers and home-based business owners could make do with the “bare technical necessities” if necessary.
It’s a matter of finding out what works best for you.
Here are some things to think about:
According to the author and futurist Alvin Toffler:
“Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate.”
As technology moves forward, we start to depend on it way too much.
Even though you can't anticipate every possible setback, it's just common sense to have a backup plan ready if something happens to bring your work to a dead stop.
As they say in the theatre, the show must go on!
As human beings, we're constantly trying to find balance in pretty much everything in life. Reality is balance is hard to achieve.
Family and business don't have to conflict.
Establish a routine so you can avoid sacrificing the already too little quality time with the family and still be able to get some work done before calling it a night.
Include some family time in your daily routine so you don't alienate those you care about most.
It can even be at the dinner table, or right before putting the kids to bed, factor in a few minutes before locking yourself in your home office.
Set milestones and reward yourself for achieving your goals.
Regardless of how small a reward may be, it's easier to stay motivated when you have something to look forward to at the end of a project or task.
It doesn't have to be anything big. It can be a bite-sized Snickers, a video on YouTube that you enjoy so much, even a delicious Popsicle on a hot day, or taking a short break to catch up on Facebook.
Setting limits is important!
Too many Snickers will hurt your waistline and too much time on Facebook will hurt your productivity.
There should also be a limit to the amount of daily work. Working too hard will only lead to overwhelm.
You're the only one who can decide how much work is too much. It's important to be honest with yourself so that you're not “slacking off” or burning the candle on both ends.
Granted some days may be busier than others; but once you decide the workday is done, stop constantly checking your phone for new emails or try to get a head start on tomorrow's work.
Making a to-do list will help prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently.
In his book Eat That Frog!, Brian Tracy explains how taking care of the most important or difficult tasks first thing in the morning will make the rest of your day seem easy in comparison.
Building a network marketing business in the morning might be difficult, and impractical for those who need to head out for work every single day.
If you're building a business in your spare time, prioritizing tasks and crossing them off a to-do list works just fine.
(From an article by Andrew Draughon, Director of Content, Elite Marketing Pro)
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