Working from home can be a difficult proposition and despite the intriguing idea of working to your own hours, taking time off whenever you want it, and having no boss; you still need to be productive and creative with your time. There is a whole host of distractions which can keep you from achieving anything when you are your own boss: social media, friends and relatives and the usual household distractions of TV, games and whatever other goodies you have in the house. Before you know it you can have wasted an entire day and accomplished nothing. Here are a few tips to keep you on track and I will share this very exceptional book which I have had the good fortune to have found in my quest for a totally flexible job:
1. Eliminate distractions. As I have already mentioned there are numerous distractions which will kepp you from being productive. Emails, friends, family, TV, text messages etc., etc., the list goes on.
2. Have specific times to check you emails and only check twice a day. Regularly checking emails is an addiction and will keep you from the productive tasks. Studies have shown that switching from one task to another continuously will slow you down and lower productivity. This is compounded by having the ability to access emails from your phone wherever you are. Stop checking continuously during the day and only check at predetermined times such as 10am and 3pm for example.
3. Set aside time to work on your business and stick to those working hours. Working hours of 9am-5pm will give you a routine. Although the idea of working whenever you please sounds good, often it just doesn’t work as you need a lot of discipline to keep t going and your bad habits can take over, making you less productive. A work schedule gives you a routine which becomes easier to stick to once you have made a habit of it.
4. Tell your friends and family what you are doing. This doesn’t mean sharing your goals with them, just that you are unavailable for those hours. Studies have shown that sharing your goals makes you less likely to achieve them. Keep the to yourself but let people know you are busy so they don’t try and distract you.
5. Take regular breaks and exercise. Sitting at the computer is a very static activity and you need to take regular breaks to get the blood pumping and to maintain optimum health. Trying to be a work ‘monster’ is counter productive if you don’t take regular exercise. Depression, insomnia, worry and other poor health issues can all stem from a lack of proper exercise and affect your business.
6. Invest in your education continually. Business owners who neglect to invest in themselves often fail not because of the business model itself, but because they don’t keep learning and improving. If your business is to grow, you must grow in line with that business.
7. Set goals. Goal setting is very important for owners of businesses. If you don’t have a business goal which you are working towards how will you know when you have attained what you are striving for? You must have a bigger picture and a vision which drives you towards greater accomplishment. If you don’t have a vision for your business, you can easily get stuck in the day-to-day rigmarole without really accomplishing anything of value.
There are many books on goal setting but none quite like the book I am about to share here. This is something quite special and if you are serious about building your own business (or accomplishing anything) you need to get a copy and study it hard, completing all the exercises set out in it. Stuart Lichtman, in his book sets out what he calls the ‘cybernetic transposition technique’. This is an extremely powerful technique which help you focus on exactly what you not only want, but what is right and true for you. Often we will set a goal but will also have competing inner conflicts which prevent us from attaining it. The cybernetic transposition technique allows you to investigate these inner conflicts and resolve them to allow both the conscious and unconscious to work together to attain any goal, however difficult.