Making money from home is the dream for many. But the reality of it can be different from what most expect. In an ideal world, you’d wake up in the morning and be able to begin creating value almost immediately. You’d get dressed, make some coffee, sit down at your computer, and then start tapping away.
But for most people, making money from home involves a lot of extra fuss. And it’s this fuss that is draining your productivity and causing you to lose valuable time you could spend searching for new customers and meeting their needs.
Take a look at these big, unnecessary time sinks that are draining your time and energy (and what to do about them).
Checking your emails the moment they arrive
Working productively from home is all about getting into a state of “flow.” You need to be able to block out all external stimulation and focus on the task in hand. But if your phone is continually pinging and Windows is making you aware every time you get a new email, then you’re not going to be at your most productive if you stop every two seconds to read emails.
Set aside specific times of the day to check your emails, such as 9am, 12pm and 3pm, and then focus on your other tasks the rest of the time. If somebody needs to contact you urgently, then they can phone.
It can also cause some stress and anxiety to feel like you have to constantly be checking emails the moment they arrive. If, like me, you can get over 100 emails a day then it can be quite overwhelming and take the whole day to check them as they come. Instead, batch task and do emails at specific time slots. Turn off email notifications too so you aren’t being made aware of them every few minutes and aren’t tempted to look.
Not outsourcing certain tasks
Complying with health and safety standards can be time-consuming. But the good news is that you don’t need to spend time doing this anymore: third-party companies can take over the entire process for you.
If you have staff who come to your house, this is essential. Just as with any place of work, you need to make sure that it meets compliance standards. If it doesn’t, then you could risk a fine.
Instead of spending time yourself on admin and regulatory tasks like these, outsource them to a professional company and reclaim your time.
You could even hire a virtual assistant to manage invoices, respond to customer emails and update spreadsheets or a social media manager to take over all your businesses online presence.
If you’re spending too much time on paperwork or updating social media and not actually getting more clients, then it might be time to admit you need to outsource certain tasks.
Going into the day without a plan
To be truly productive, it’s essential to have a plan of the day mapped out. You need to know your top priorities, what can wait, and what will be the most productive use of your time.
Of course, how much planning you need to do each day depends on the nature of your job. But suffice to say that if you have a lot of random tasks that you need to complete, then adequate planning is essential.
You’ll also need to be flexible with this plan as priorities and workloads can change. Have a rough idea of what you want to achieve, but if things change then don’t beat yourself up about it.
Using old equipment
Out-of-date office equipment is a nightmare. If your laptop and other equipment takes ages to load then you are simply wasting a bunch of time every day that could be spent more productively.
You need tools that allow you to use all of the latest apps and software too. Relying on monitors from the 1990s, for example, will frustrate you and mean that you can’t get work done.
Make sure you have the right business equipment to suit your needs along with a fast internet connection so you’re ready to get to work each day without any hold ups.