10 tips to increase productivity whilst working from homeMar 18, 2021
This is a guest post by Emily Hatton, Remote Hub Solutions
If this year has taught us anything it is how important it is to think about how to be productive with a limited amount of time available to spend on running a business.
When having to juggle so many elements, kids, home schooling, housework, business – and anything else added in the mix – it is key to put practices in place to ensure you can be as productive as possible.
This is my jam! I set up my business to support others in managing theirs in the most productive way - we all want to make business easier right?!
I have put together my top 10 tips to implement to increase your productivity whilst working from home:
This one comes up time and time again for a reason – it is really important. It might be difficult to look too far ahead right now but it is a good idea to plan your work tasks for the week ahead, and also daily tasks the night before. Tasks should be given strict deadlines so you know what absolutely needs to happen and what can be pushed back if necessary.
Using a task management app will help a lot with keeping you in check with your schedule. They are a way of organising your to-do’s, timescales and projects, both short-term and long-term. They really help with notifications and can integrate with other systems such as calendars to give you reminders. Some popular free systems to look at are Trello, Asana, and Todoist. I use these to keep me on track for both business and life admin!
2. Set aside strict work hours
There may be a few times in the day when it is much better for you to work – eg first thing in the morning when no-one is up, when a TV programme is on entertaining the children, when your partner takes the kids out. Make these times non-negotiable for working to get your tasks completed. It is amazing how productive I can be during my daughter's nap time if I have planned ahead.
You can also use meeting schedulers such as Calendly and Acuity allowing you to be in control of when customers or clients are able to book in with you. It will stop all the back and forth emails to confirm meeting times, and also allows you to set up reminders and follow-ups with clients.
3. Don’t waste time on social media
Social media is a black hole when it comes to productivity! Make sure that the time set aside for working is only used for work. Turn off any potential distractions for that short period to ensure you get the maximum output out of the time.
4. Keep things tidy
Not talking the whole house here – just your workspace. Try to prioritise keeping the space you work in tidy to have a clear head. It will help keep you focused on your work.
5. Communicate with your bubble
Make sure the people in your household and bubble know about your schedule and your non-negotiable times for working. If you can get your bubble to help you stick to your schedule it will go a long way to helping make it work.
6. Get the tough stuff done first
Those tasks that are difficult/you don’t like doing/aren’t sure how to do – get them out of the way first thing in your day. These tasks will be taking some brainpower while you put them off so it is better to get them out of the way to stay focused on each part of your work.
7. Take extra help wherever possible
Now is the time to really think about whether you can outsource or take on some extra help for any elements of your business. Outsourcing elements isn’t as costly as you would imagine – and can help you move your business on when you can’t manage doing everything. Getting some help can take away some tasks you aren’t needed for or you don’t like– to allow you to focus on the bigger picture parts of the business.
8. Get things automated
Getting the right systems set up for your business will reduce your admin time dramatically. Remember, you can do anything but not everything! With more limited time looking likely for a lot of this year, it is the perfect time to set up your business systems so that processes can be going on without you having to manage it all. There are lots of applications to help you with sales, marketing, finance, planning, and all areas of your business, so getting the perfect systems for you will increase your productivity considerably.
There are Marketing Platforms such as Mailchimp which are great for creating amazing emails to keep in touch with clients, and there are Marketing automation systems such as ActiveCampaign and Convertkit which allow you to set up processes so that your marketing is happening with client and potential clients without you having to do anything!
Sales is another area that all businesses need to spend time on. When you have limited time you don’t want to waste time on a scattered sales approach. Using a CRM can help you think through the steps in your sales strategy, and keep track of your clients and potential clients, so you also know when to follow up and keep clients coming back. Some popular systems include Insightly and Pipedrive.
9. Manage your expectations
One of the greatest pressures that come from a time-tight period actually comes from within ourselves, expecting to be able to do too much. This is a time to set achievable goals, and not make endless to-do lists that will be left unfinished. Be realistic about the time available and don’t put pressure to get an amount of work done that is unachievable. This only leads to procrastination and frustration.
10. Set boundaries
It is a good time to learn to say no! Often when running a business it is easy to say yes to work that isn’t really from ideal clients, or agree to help people for no charge. Now is definitely not a time to take on any work that will not lead to a benefit – so it is the perfect time to get assertive!
Go easy on yourself in this tough time – but know that there is help available and ways to ensure you and your business can keep going and maybe even thrive by learning to be ultra productive in this period!
There is a huge choice of systems and options out there – and it can be difficult to know what will really help your business.
That is where Emily comes in. She can bring an expert eye and look at your business from a fresh perspective and talk through what you need and suggest the right systems to put in place. She matches entrepreneurs with their perfect systems. So if you need some advice – get in touch!
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