12 Oct How To Optimize Your Work From Home Productivity (for Entrepreneurs)
When working from home as an entrepreneur, there are unique challenges to face. Distractions, lack of energy, missing motivation, and if you don’t live alone, other humans that need you.
As a wife and mom of 3, running a full-time coaching business from my home, I know all too well what it’s like to be pulled in a million directions. After more than a decade of growing a thriving home-based business, I’ve been able to perfect my schedule and optimize my productivity based on my personal energy levels, the times that I am most productive, and even the locations around the house that inspire me to focus.
The trick? Being present and aware of your mind and body, taking note, and developing an optimized productivity schedule that works for you.
Figuring out these things not only allow you to get more things done, but it also gives you and your business stability, consistency, and most importantly, time for creative freedom. As a result, you’ll be happier and you’ll spend less time worrying about the future and more time focusing on the task at hand.
The first thing to consider in optimizing your work from home productivity is figuring our your peak productivity time. Here’s how:
How to Pinpoint Your Most Productive Hours While at Home.
Time is money, and it’s the most precious asset you own when you run your own business from home. To optimize your work from home routine, you must first ask yourself, “What is the time of day that I most thrive?”
Think for a moment about how your most ideal productive day would go. Do you take the mornings slow? Do you get right into working on your business? Are you most productive at night?
As a productivity coach, I can tell you that finding your productive hours could be a challenge. I have clients that instantly know they love working in the mornings and jump out of bed. I also have clients that love working in the evenings and some who can’t get energized until mid-afternoon. They know this instantly.
Then, there are those like me, who have lots of physical energy all day but need to pinpoint the peak of their mental energy. For these people, to discover their most productive times of the day, they need to be present and aware of how their mental energy fluctuates throughout the day. For example, I am full of physical energy when I wake up, but I find my writing isn’t that great in the early morning.
Or, perhaps your the type of person that never feels productive or motivated until you actually start. This frustrating dilemma is one that you can overcome. Though it may be a struggle to get going, once you’re in the flow of your work, notice what time it is and how you feel.
Need a baseline? Here are some scientific starting points:
- A 2017 California-based research study found that the most productive time of day is around 11:00 am.
- People are most mentally alert between 9:00 am and 11:00 am. You can use this information while scheduling meetings, as this is the time where people will be the most attentive.
- Information has even been found about the months where people are most productive. The most productive month of the year is typically October.
Also, you may have multiple optimal productive times… and that’s actually normal. Just take note and a pattern should emerge. Use that pattern to block productive times on your schedule every day.
What if I Only Have a Limited Amount of Time?
Because life is life, there will always be distractions or needs that are unplanned. If you planned to have four hours to work, but you wind up only having one hour, that does not mean the day or the time to be productive has to be completely lost.
As a mom and business owner, I get it. It can be easy to have an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to following a schedule. However, I challenge you to change your thinking. If your schedule messes up, don’t throw your whole day away. If you cannot do all of it, do some of it.
To do this, choose your highest priority task first and assign yourself an hour of working on that. Even if the entire day is unsalvageable, at least you moved the needle on that one big thing. That’s what matters.
Here are a few more tips to help you make the most of the days when you have a limited amount of time:
- Take it one minute at a time. An hour may not seem like a long time. However, a lot can happen in 10 minutes.
- It can be easy to let an entire hour fly by without having done anything. Minimize distractions. Turn your phone on silent. Focus on exactly what is in front of you.
- Focus on tasks that will move you the most toward your goal in the time you have.
- Prioritize the tasks that need the most immediate attention.
Once you find your optimal productive time as a home-based business owner, it’s time to take a closer look at your environment.
How to Find a Place In Your Home That Inspires You.
When considering the time of day that you’re most productive, you must also consider where you are when you’re most productive. Every home-based business owner needs at least three locations to work in or near their home. Here are the ones I suggest:
#1 – Your Home Office.
If you work from home, it is so important to have a dedicated space where you can shut the door, limit distractions, and focus on the tasks you must complete to grow your business.
As a home-based business owner, you’ll spend a lot of time working, and you deserve to have a beautiful home office. It’s important to spend time and energy making it a reflection of who you want to be so that it inspires and empowers. Envision the setting of your ideal, most productive home office. Look around that imaginary space.
- What does it smell like?
- What does it sound like?
- What does it feel like?
- What does it look like?
Use those answers to re-design and rearrange your office. Make it a place that makes you smile and gets you excited about working.
#2 – Outside In Nature
You can’t spend every single day in your office. I find that not changing your environment from time to time can lead to burnout and unhappiness. The number one cure for both those things? NATURE. When you are feeling uninspired and unproductive, it’s important to be able to quickly relocate your workspace to the great outdoors.
Look around your home. Is there a place with large windows allowing you to look outside while you work? Do you have space outside to set up a table and chairs and easily access an electrical outlet? I love grabbing my laptop and going outside to my patio when I need a refresh, especially while writing.
#3 – Around Other People
Although you work from home, remember that even if you are introverted, humans are social animals. Some are more social than others. If you find that other people give you energy, find a place close to your home (15-minutes way or less) where you can work. Two places you can try:
- A coffee shop. Your favorite coffee shop can provide a comfortable and productive familiarity. A coffee shop is a great place to go to get out of isolation and be around people without being directly interrupted.
- A coworking space. Many cities have coworking spaces. A coworking space has all of the amenities of a typical workplace. You can enjoy some great motivation by surrounding yourself with others who are productive.
Establishing your best productive times and settings will help you find a routine your love. Asking the simple questions of when and where will enable you to create the structure that will handle the rest of your day.
If you are looking to revamp your productivity, check out my Seamlessly Scheduled Masterclass: How to Rewire, Reorganize, and Revamp Your Biz & Life for Success. I’ve taken my signature productivity coaching method and turned it into a 2-hour training featuring my plug-and-play productivity system.
This training was strategically created for entrepreneurs who are highly-motivated with a busy life or schedule. Those who are full-time in their passion and have big goals, but can’t find time to get everything done in a healthy way.
This masterclass will help you:
- REINVENT your life and business so you can enjoy more money, more free time, and a system that works.
- DEVELOP a real feel-good productivity strategy to create the best version of yourself NOW, not later.
- BUILD a powerful success calendar customized for your unique genius.
- FOCUS on the big picture and make small and consistent steps to get there.
You’ll also get the Seamlessly Scheduled Workbook and productivity printables.