As rewarding as starting a small home business can be, it is a lot of work. That can dissuade some people from starting their businesses in the first place. After all, when you are first starting a business from home, there’s a good chance you’ll still need to keep your day job. That means the amount of time you have to work on your business is limited.
Don’t let this stop you from pursuing your entrepreneurial goals. While it is true that you may need to squeeze growing your business into small windows of time at first, doing so is much easier when you keep the following productivity hacks in mind.
1. Make a schedule.
The times you spend working on your home business may be fairly random and sporadic when you first start out. Depending on the nature of your schedule, you may only be able to work on it during your moments of free time, which might not arrive consistently.
That’s a reality you have to accept. That said, odds are good you can take a look at the week ahead and identify times you know you’ll be available. Plan on using these times to focus on important business tasks. Although your schedule may not be regular and consistent at first, it’s at least necessary to plan your week ahead of time, knowing what business goals you want to accomplish.
This highlights another important point: you also need to prioritize your to-do list. You don’t want to waste the precious free time you have focusing on tasks that aren’t high priorities right now.
2. Improve your home office.
Busy new entrepreneurs know the value of a home office. You’re more likely to be productive when working in the right environment. Some features of a home office are essential. You need proper lighting (ideally natural light, which helps boost productivity), all the tools and resources necessary for completing business tasks, and a reasonable space in which to work.
Beyond that, you can decide what aspects of a home office are more likely to have a positive impact on your productivity. Maybe you find you focus on your work better when the door is closed. Perhaps it helps to have some relaxing music on in the background. Some people feel they get more done when their home offices are decorated with motivational posters and similar iconography.
This is an opportunity to indulge your creativity! While a home office serves a practical purpose, it can also be a space that reflects your personality and brand.
3. Track your time.
The nature of every home business is different. That said, in this day and age, odds are good that running yours involves using the Internet to at least some degree.
This can obviously lead to distracting situations. From YouTube to social media, there are innumerable ways you can waste time or engage in low-priority, low-impact tasks related to your new business. This is particularly true when you don’t have a supervisor watching over you. If you’re not used to managing your own time in this capacity, it makes sense that you might become distracted.
The problem is, the more time you spend on such diversions, the less time you have to grow a successful business. Thus, if you’re prone to getting distracted on the Internet, you may want to use a time-tracking app. It can provide you with a report that helps you grasp just how much time you have available. Many people are surprised when presented with a clear breakdown of how they truly spend their time.
4. Wear the right clothes.
This might seem like a somewhat strange tip, but it’s in fact quite valuable. You already know your working environment can have an impact on your productivity. The same can be said about your clothing. Research has actually shown that people feel more productive when they are dressed professionally.
Yes, it may be tempting to wear your most comfortable outfit when working from home, but the effect this could have on your mindset is likely to be negative. You’re better off dressing as if you were going to the office instead. This will trick your brain into entering “work mode,” making it easier for you to stay focused and accomplish key tasks.
There will ideally come a time when your small home business is so successful that you can quit your day job. However, to achieve that degree of success, you need to work hard during the early stages. These tips will help you do so on a tight schedule.