Being able to work from home is one of the main benefits of being an entrepreneur or a small business owner. The amount of time saved not having to commute to an office is huge. Sometimes it is easy to forget how much of a luxury it is to be able to work from home. When I first started working from home, the freedom to do whatever I wanted was great. However, I quickly learned that I was responsible for everything in my business as I was a solopreneur.
I noticed I had developed a few bad habits when working from home that decreased my productivity and affected how long it took me to finish projects. In order to get my productivity level where I wanted it to be, I had to replace or eliminate some of these bad habits. Over the years, I’ve become developed better discipline once I was able to identify these habits. As a result, my productivity levels have improved dramatically along with my ability to focus and get things done.
Here are five habits that could be decreasing your productivity if you work from home. I’ve been guilty with all of them so I share them here to hopefully make you aware of these unproductive habits and take the necessary steps to correct them.
- Not having a plan. As a work-from-home entrepreneur, it is easy to wake up each day and do what we “feel” like rather than doing what’s most important. Having a weekly and daily plan is extremely important in order to know what areas or projects to focus on. A task management system or using a calendar to schedule time to work on what needs to be done is mandatory.
- Spending too much time on social media. As interesting as social media is, it is extremely time consuming and unproductive. One way to avoid wasting time on social media is schedule when to check your social media updates and to use a countdown timer. I give myself a maximum of 30 minutes in the morning on social media and once the time is up, I will not check any social media until my next scheduled time.
- Surfing the internet. Similar to social media, it can be easy to lose track of time when surfing the internet. This can include clicking on links in emails and watching videos instead of doing productive work. Also, when doing research, valuable time can be lost if there isn’t a plan to follow. Scheduling time during the day to do things on the internet is one way to overcome this.
- Not having enough breaks. As entrepreneurs, we tend to work long hours and do what needs to be done to get the job done. However for sustained and high levels of productivity, it has been proven over and over again that those who take regular breaks are much more productive that those who push themselves by working long hours with very few or no breaks. Having a break at least once every two hours is a good starting point.
- Not being accountable to anyone. As solopreneurs do not have a manager or boss to report to, it is very easy to cruise along without getting any feedback on how they are performing. Having someone to hold you accountable like a coach, mentor or accountability partner will radically increase your productivity and also help you stay motivated even during the challenging times. Every entrepreneur must have someone they report to consistently if they’re serious about becoming a better entrepreneur.
These are some habits that can be avoided if you’re aware of them and can put some simple mitigation strategies in place. It took me some time to overcome these unproductive habits and once I was able to do so, I have been able to get more done in less time. The same can also be possible for you too.
Question: Which habit would you like to change or eliminate that may be affecting your productivity?
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