As an online worker or freelancer, you will be probably working from home. Working from home can be quite difficult. The home is not a natural place to work. It is normally a place to relax and is filled with lots of distractions like TV, a well made bed, family errands, etc.
Working online makes it even more difficult when you add distractions that come with the internet like social networking. In this article which is part of our online work series we will look at how to keep productive while working at home.
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To be productive while working at home you need to take your work seriously. You also need to make others take what you do seriously.
When you work online people around you will normally think you are just playing around on a computer or just sending scam mails or into Yahoo Yahoo. So it is your job to educate them so that they will give you time and space to work.
Here are a few tips to improve your productivity when you work online from home.
Create a Timetable
To work from home you need discipline. And one way to get things done is to put them on paper. Create a timetable for your work. The timetable must not be definite. You must not start work by 8am or 9am. The beauty of work at home jobs is the flexibility it gives you to choose when to start work.
What affects productivity is not when you start work but how many productive hours you put into it. So, your work timetable should state how many hours you work per day.
You should then allocate time based on schedule to the different tasks that need to be done. Your timetable should be flexible; you can change it daily or weekly.
Define your Daily Task
One way to be productive while working online from home is to write down all the tasks that need to be done for a given day and check each one once completed.
Example tasks include: writing a blog post for your blog, responding to emails, writing methods for your newly created Java Class, sending emails to clients, writing a work report, etc.
Writing things down and checking them when done will help you see how much work you have done or how you are lagging behind. Remember that in online work you are paid for milestones and completed tasks so your emphasis when creating tasks is to meet those milestones that will enable you get paid.
It is a good idea to define each day’s tasks the previous day or before you open work same day. Keep the list in front of you and as time goes by check how much work done. The more tasks you accomplish the more work done.
Create a Home Office
That you work at home does not mean you have to work from your bed or in front of a TV. You need to create a space in your home where you work. This enables you to go to work like anybody else.
Make it a custom to work from that space. This helps you in a number of ways. It enables you easily switch to work mode whenever, you are with the space.
In addition, creating a home office will make family and friends less likely to disturb when they see you working in your home office as they will also begin to associate the space as a work space.
Your home office could just be as simple as a computer and chair to desk, printer, scanner, photocopier, fax, telephone, shredder, etc.
Reveal your Work Status
When people see you at home all the time, they assume you are unemployed or not busy. So, you will be expected to do all the errands. Friends will also be popping by to see their not so busy friend.
You have to tell your family and friends that you work from home online with your computer and that your work is as serious as their 9 to 5 work.
One way to make them take you seriously is to take your online work serious by creating a home office and following through with your timetable and tasks like pointed out above.
Making some money from online work will also help. Some people will never consider what you do work until you can make money from it. You cannot be telling people you work and still be borrowing money from them.
Create Time for Family Errands
You should allocate time in your timetable for errands. This will ensure you do not spend all your time on family errands or ignore them entirely.
You are not Atlas; you cannot carry the whole world on your head so formulate a timetable that creates a good balance between your online work and family and social life.
There you have it. Are there other ways that people who work from home online can use to improve productivity? Share with me as a comment.
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