Gary Keller author of the bestselling book The One Thing tells us how it is best to focus on only the one most important thing at a time. Focusing on one thing at one time leads you to be the most productive.
Have you ever tried to do ten things at once. You are sending an email while on the phone and also eating. But as well as all that you are also writing a blog article and looking for new office equipment on Amazon.
That is a sure fire way to get burnt out and not get anything done. You only have a limited amount of will power and energy everyday and you risk of draining it all by multi tasking.
In the video below we summarize The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and tell you some of the key insights, tips and lessons contained in the book.
Having a home based business is something extraordinary! It can be so much fun—contrary to popular belief that is. The first thing you need to do is brush off anyone who tells you that you can’t or you won’t like it. Here we will cover everything you need to know from the organization of the physical office to the pitfalls and how to avoid them when you work from home. There is a way around all of it and it’s a liberating experience to work for yourself.
In this article you will learn how to set up a productive home office while also finding out the benefits of a home office and find out how you can make the most out of it.
Before you Get Started
One of the ways to avoid the pitfalls is to make sure you are the type of person that would benefit from a home based business in the first place. This doesn’t mean you are working for a company and just work remotely for them with the option of going to an office if you want to. We are talking complete independence from an office or a company with a company of your own or freelancing.
Your Work At Home Personality
When you decide to work from home, you may have made that decision for many reasons. First, you may want to be home when kids get home—to make a natural break time in that work day to be with them before you get back to it and work until dinner time. You may have decided to have the freedom to travel and to explore your world and still be able to pull an income.
Maybe you’re married and want to be a housewife who works. Maybe you want to build a strong entrepreneurial environment. Either way, you are apt to run into some things you hadn’t anticipated that you need a little help with. We know that being in charge of your schedule—when and how you work, is an awesome thing. But, if you aren’t used to it and If you have no other real responsibilities to plan around—you may fall short in your work day.
Being disciplined is a must but you can do it—depending on what type of business you have—in a way that suites you.
For example. If you are in a project-based business, like a freelance writer for example—you may be able to look at your project roster and when you need your money of course—and plan to work when you want.
If you want to take a certain day off in the week because you’ve woken up and you just feel like sleeping in—you can. Or, maybe you are needing to do some errands you can’t do on a weekend—you can.
You can be completely spontaneous in this case. The problems lie where you are not disciplined enough to get started and then finish what you had planned for the day.
Then, you end up in trouble being backed up at the end of the week and having to play catch up. Maybe losing a client or two because they found someone better and faster or more organized.
That can snowball. We’ve been there—all of us who start a home based business. So, we have to make sure that our personality warrants us to have a business we can manage on our own.
Best Ways to Not Fall in that Trap
Organizing yourself and your work in what is called blocks of time seems to be the trend for home-based business as well as other business. You can be spontaneous with that too but you are more structured in the way you use your blocks of time. You are less libel to goof off in that time. So, what does working in blocks of time look like?
You are planning in blocks of 2-3 or 4 hours. Those are the optimal lengths of time you should work with so that it doesn’t get tedious and you get work done as you should. These are only examples of what and how to create and schedule these time blocks. You are in no way strapped to this guide.
Let’s say you wake up at 6:30, you may want to schedule an hour to yourself before anyone else gets up if that is the home dynamic you have. You can use this time for quiet morning meditation. You can meditate or you can start to plan your day then—rather than the night before. Then from say 7:30 to 8:30—some form of exercise may do you wonders to start the day.
Then breakfast and shower. You are now ready to go! When you are beginning your work day—make sure you know what you will do until lunch. The lunch time is not important to know. It’s when you feel like it although we will suggest that you take that as early in the afternoon as possible. Why? Because eating too late in the afternoon can make you sleepy and less productive. Make sure you aren’t eating heavy either. Have a client lunch?
Make it a salad and sandwich sort of day if you are coming home to a lot of work.
Examples of what you can do between breakfast and lunch are things like—check and answer e mail—return calls—make appointments. Then you can get started on a project for a block of 2 hours.
After lunch, continue project. Follow up on e mails etc…you see what we’re getting at? You will at least have a plan of action to get things done and the day will be productive. Most of what we get backed up on when we procrastinate are silly things. This ends up so frustrating that it can turn us off our business. We certainly don’t want that to happen. It’s far too liberating to work out of your home—you just need to know the ins and outs of doing it properly.
Now for Organizing the Work Space
When you have a workspace—that’s exactly what it needs to be—a workspace. Everyone is different. If we work from a laptop, we may prefer to have that be a mobile thing so we can work in whatever comfortable position we want. However; when we are working from home it’s still important that we view our workspace as an office and not much else. Some of us don’t have a room to devote a workspace exclusively. That’s OK, as long as it has the important elements here—you’re fine.
This one should be planned efficiently. Why? Because you want to make sure that desk area will hold your focus entirely for your blocks of time you have scheduled to be there. If there are too many distractions then that is when you fall into trouble.
Check out this video below on setting up a productive home office. Stefan from Project Life Mastery gives a great tour of his home office and what to include.
For example. You need to have everything you use on an hour by hour basis right there on the desk or inside the desk. If you have to get up too many times during the day—even a four foot walk to a closet or container—you may just have enough leeway to walk over to something else.
And if you think it will be just for a moment then think again—it won’t be. We as humans are easily distracted when we have all this freedom. It’s normal but destructive to our business so when you are organizing your desk and workspace you need to think efficiently first.
What to include in your home office
A great desk for your home office is the LEXA home office desk. It is a very high quality desk and is a corner desk so it will fit in to any corner of your room. The desk has an attractive design to it and will suit anyone’s room. Click here to check it out. It is imperative that you have a good sturdy desk for your home office.
Something else that is just as important as your home office desk is your chair. This is actually probably one of the most important things you need as you will be spending most of your day on the chair.
If you do not have a comfortable chair then you won’t be able to work properly or as efficiently. It as simple as that. I highly recommend you get this chair for your home office. This chair is great because it swivels, reclines and also moves around.
However a desk and chair is all good and it will help you out with your home office but what you really need to get work done is a laptop. A laptop can help you get your work done and if you have a great laptop, you will be able to plough through the work.
The laptop which I would recommend that you get is the Apple Macbook Pro 13 Inch Laptop. The Apple Macbook Pro laptop has a Intel Dual Core i5 2.5 GHz processor. This means that it can run apps rapidly and you will be able to switch between different applications and programs swiftly and without a problem.
It also has a 4GB RAM Memory which means it will not slow down if you load too much software and programs onto it. The Macbook Pro has a massive 500GB Hard drive which should be more than enough for the storage of your work, documents, pictures, videos and anything else that you have.
It is a very thin and powerful laptop which runs Apple OS X Lion. The laptop has a beautiful sleek design to it and you can take it virtually anywhere with you. It also has a long battery life to it which means you can work longer on the beach if you want!
The laptop even includes a HD webcam so you can FaceTime or Skype people where ever you are. You can also record video blogs if you want. This would make a perfect addition to your home office.
The Epson Expression Home XP-322 All in One Printer is an awesome printer that can get all your documents and work printed out. It is an all in one printer which includes copier, scanner and printer. The great thing about this Printer is that it is wireless so you do not need any wires to connect it up.
With it being wireless you can connect near enough any device to it such as your laptop, iPad, tablet or smart phone.
The printer used offers cost effective printing as well as being small and relatively light weight. This is a very good printer if you ask me.
Something else you would need in your home office would be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. This is the latest phone in the Note range by Samsung. It is a beautiful handset and makes it easy to work and play on the handset.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a massive 3220 AH battery which means it will has a long lasting battery life. It goes from 0-50% charge in 30 minutes, which is pretty impressive. It is a very powerful phone with a 3GB RAM and 2.7 GHz processor meaning the speed of the phone is absolutely quick.
It has a 5.7 Quad HD Super AMOLED display which makes the screen very crisp and clear. Like with all the other phones in the Note range, this includes the S-Pen which makes it easy to doodle, write and draw using your phone.
Don’t Make your Home Office your Work Office
Prior to making a home based office—people will certainly have a home office for their personal lives. This means files for papers that are attached to what they do in life like mortgage, medical, school and the like. There is a danger in mixing client records and personal records in with each other. Make sure a closet or separate file cabinet is kept for the personal stuff.
Talk to Family
Make sure you have a heart to heart about your office hours and distractions with family. You have to face some facts that you may have to deal with the attitudes from family. They may be having a bit of a challenge taking your work life seriously.
So, in saying that—it’s time to put a lock on the door and lay down the law! If you have children there while you work for part of the time—make sure you have no important client calls scheduled at this time. Most parents have a window of time between when kids get out of school and the other parent comes home. This is the time to take care of administrative things and not something crucial.
If it’s just you and a partner, spouse or roommate make sure you set your boundaries as well. Sometimes people don’t realize you aren’t accessible. They don’t see you as at work and unable to speak to them. Your new work life can be threatening to them. It means there is a time in your day you have to respectfully shut them out.
These are some of the greatest pitfalls people find themselves in. But, if you conquer these few simple hurdles you will never go back to a brick and mortar office.
I hope this article helped you out and you took something away from it. If you think someone else will benefit from this article then please share it with them.
What does your home office look like? What type of stuff do you have in it? Do you have any tips or anything that we have missed out?
Post a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
Do you wish you had more than 24 hours in the day? Do you ever wonder how some people get so much done in the day even though they have the same 24 hours as you? You might be thinking that some people are super human, but that’s just not the case. People who get stuff done organize themselves. They are also very productive and make use of every minute.
There are also those types of people who are busy being busy. If you ask them what they are doing, they will just say they are ‘busy’. Don’t be one of these people. These people are actually counter-productive and instead of getting stuff done, they get nothing done. They end up trying to multi-task all their tasks and end up getting nothing done.
Follow the advice below as well as the resources and you will be able to double your productivity and make more time in your day without the need of exhausting yourself out. You will end up getting way more done in your day as well.
Time Management is a vital skill that you must learn to get more time. Everyone wishes they had more time in the day, in this article I’ll tell you how you can organize your time effectively and double your productivity to double your life. This article features some great time management tips that you will benefit from.
Make a to-do list and set goals
Set goals for what you want to achieve in your business and life. Whether this is ‘write a novel’ or ‘create a multi-million pound business’. If you think your goal sounds too big, too far or ‘too unrealistic’, write it down. The more unrealistic it sounds the better.
Think about it was it unrealistic of Bill Gates to think that he would own one of the world’s most valuable companies and become a billionaire. Was it too big of a goal for Arnold Schwarzenegger to think that he would become one of the world’s highest paid actors. It wasn’t and you settle for small goals either.
If you would like more inspiration on how successful people achieved their goals, then you should purchase The Success Story. This book features the story of many different entrepreneurs, authors and innovators and tells you all about how they got their success.
Setting goals and making a to-do list will make you focus more on the things you have to achieve. Writing down your goals also clears your head for other ideas and helps your brain flow better. Make sure you write deadlines to help you stay on task. An app that helps you to do this is Evernote.
Evernote is a note taking and productivity app that helps you get stuff done. You can write notes down on this app so it frees your mind app to focus on other things. You can also create to-do lists with this app to help you focus on things. I highly recommend this app and is available to download on desktops, smartphones and tablets.
Deadlines create a sense of urgency for your goals. Without deadlines you will be thinking to yourself that you have all the time in the world. Set a realistic deadline and you will be surprised to how much you can get done and accomplish.
Studies show that if you write down your goals you are 33% more likely to complete them.
This includes turning off your mobile phone, switching off your email and closing. If you can’t switch your email off try setting specific times to check your email. For example, check your email once in the morning and once in the evening or night. This way you will not get distracted by having to check and reply to emails.
Many people have the habit of checking their email every 2 minutes even though they have no new emails apart from some spam emails from some Nigerian prince asking for money. Turn the internet off when you don’t need to use it.
The internet is one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century but it can be seen as one of the biggest distractions if not used properly. Some people get the urge of going on Facebook or Twitter. Or you might even start going on YouTube to watch funny cat videos instead of doing work. By the time you realize that you’ve spent 2 hours on Facebook or watching funny cat videos.
If you still think you can’t turn the internet off then I suggest using a software like Freedom. Freedom cuts off access to the internet for a certain period. You cannot use the internet at all until that period has gone. This is an incredible software if the internet is stopping you from being productive. It is only $10 for unlimited use of the software. The best thing about Freedom is that once it’s activated it can’t be turned off.
Anti-Social is another software that helps you from distracting websites. You can choose which websites to block off. So if you are a Facebook-aholic then you can block access to Facebook. If you can’t help but tweet about everything then you can block off access to Twitter for a certain period of time. Like Freedom once this is activated it can’t be turned off. Anti-Social is only $15 for lifetime use of the software.
If you want to know how much time you are wasting on unnecessary websites then I suggest you check out Rescue Time. Rescue Time runs quietly in the background on your computer while tracking how much time you are spending on websites and other applications. It then generates a weekly report on what you have gone on and how much time you have spent.
Its a free tool to download and you’ll actually be surprised to how much time you are spending being unproductive.
Make a Schedule
Create a schedule and make sure you stick to it. Set specific times to tasks and make sure you do it on that time.Making a schedule helps you stay much more focused and productive.
You know what to do next and you stay more organised. When you do this you start to build a routine up and it starts to get much easier once you have that routine in place. It starts to get easier to when you know you have to do something at a specific time.
This is how many successful and productive people get stuff done. A lot of them stick to a schedule religiously and never mess their schedule up.
Once you make a schedule of the things you have to complete, it becomes a habit and then becomes a lot easier to complete tasks. When it is a habit it becomes hard-wired it your brain that you must do the specific task at a certain time.
Use ZenDay to organize your time and create a schedule. ZenDay is an app available to download for free on Android and Apple devices which allows you to plan your goals and manage your time. Using this app you can become proactive and take control of your life.
If you have a busy and stressful life and you want to take control of your life again then I suggest you download this app. It’s very easy to use and will help you become much more productive.
A lot successful people have schedule and they make sure they stick to them. A schedule does make you stay on top of things allows you to become proactive.
When you accomplish something or achieve a task make sure you reward yourself. This could include having your favourite food or drink, playing a video game, or whatever it is you enjoy. For example when you have written a chapter of your book you could reward yourself by playing Gran Turismo 6 for half an hour or watch The Big Bang Theory. Whatever it is you like doing do it but make sure you don’t over do it.
However it is best to do something healthy so try to keep stuff bad for you away. Try doing stuff like going for a run or eating some healthy food.
Rewarding yourself motivates you to work better and harder and it can produce better results for you. Rewarding yourself is a way of thanking yourself and appreciating yourself. Many successful people use this technique to get more done and accomplish more things in life.
Rewarding yourself for each task makes you work harder and more efficiently because your brain knows you are going to get something nice when you complete it. Just make sure you do It in consideration and don’t do it in excess.
You are not a machine and you should not work like one. It is very unproductive to work non-stop. Take mini-breaks to avoid burnout. A good guide is to take a 5 minute break for 25 minutes or so that you work.
This is called the Pomodoro technique and was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s. Having frequent breaks can improve mental agility and help you stay on top of things.
You can use e.ggtimer to keep track of time as it is a countdown timer that you can use to measure how much time you have spent. This a great tool that helps you to stay productive and helps you keep on top of things while focusing on the task in hand.
If you keep working without taking any breaks, you will be less productive as you will be less focused on the task in hand and instead your mind will be wondering else where. Many authors use this method to complete large novels and large writing projects.
This method is a great way to stay much more productive. I highly suggest you implement this technique as it will improve your productivity and increase your time management skills
If you want to free up more time and spend less time on your business, check this out.
Make sure you do the tasks that are urgent and important first instead of completing the easy tasks first. Effective people complete important tasks first, that’s how they get more done.
When you complete the more harder tasks and more important tasks it gets more easier to complete the less harder tasks. Using this technique you can complete your work and get much more done.
Look at your to-do list and schedule. Put the tasks that are more important as a priority to complete. Put them first on your to-list and schedule.
Once you learn how to prioritize properly, you will start to find you are getting much more done through the day and you will notice your time management skills improving and that you are getting more productive.
These tips should help you get much more done throughout the day and improve your time management skills. It is very important to develop time management skills as it will help you get more productive and help you complete more tasks.
The time management tips contained in this article are some of the methods and techniques that highly successful people use to get stuff done and complete large projects.
Make sure you implement these tips into your life and business because there is no point in reading an article if you are not going to act up on. Give these tips a try and you will be surprised at the amount of work you’ll get done and how much more productive you have become with the help of these tips.
If you have friends that are lacking in productivity or anyone else that you think needs help with improving their time management skills then share this article with them. They’ll appreciate you helping them.
Do you have any of your own time management tips? Write them in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!