This post may include affiliate links or compensated content. Click here for our disclosure policy
You’ve hammered out the details for your business. You have your first client(s) and are ready to start working hard! What’s missing? What can make your work easier? These experts chime in on what tools (and ideas) help them achieve their success!
Michael Bremmer from TelecomQuotes.com
1) Peace and quiet—It’s impossible to work with children screaming and dogs barking (unless you’re a Mommy blogger, which that’s probably great content to blog about).
2) Work ethic—Most people should be more productive working from home (in theory), but lack laser focus because they’re at home unsupervised.
3) Organizational skills—Ideally, you should have a dedicated space, with a door you can close. But, if your home office is also the kitchen table, you probably should buy a copy of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (actually, we all should have a copy of it regardless).
Pamela from Balanced Numbers Consulting Services LLC
1) An excellent task management system. I use Teamwork and this enables my clients to add tasks and view the progress on tasks they have assigned me.
2) Stay focused. This is uber important, especially with all the side attention grabbers like social media and email. Set aside specific hours to view email and stay connected on social media. (Set a timer if you need to so you don’t overstay your welcome!)
3) Being organized. If your work area (office, desk, work space) is not organized, you will not be able to stay on top of the tasks at hand. Everything has a place and it needs to be kept in that place. Become as paperless as possible and don’t invite clutter. Take 5 minutes at the end of each workday to organize your space so you walk into a clean, organized work area the next day.
Tammy Bjelland from Learning in Bloom
1) Have high-quality equipment that you can rely on. This might mean you have to invest in a new monitor or in a computer upgrade, but it’s worth it if you have tools that will work when you need them to work.
2) Use a time tracker like Harvest, or just a simple spreadsheet to keep track of the time that you spend on tasks. Use a timer set to 25 or 30-minute increments to help you accomplish tasks in manageable chunks. Your home can provide endless distractions, so put in the effort to devise strategies to stay on task.
Carrie Madormo The Healthy Work at Home Mom
No matter how small, make sure you have a designated space for your home office and do NOT take your laptop outside your office. It is so hard to unwind when working from home, because your work is always right there. Keeping it in its designated space lets your brain relax a little after a long day.
1) Invest in an alternative desk.. Sitting all day wreaks havoc on our health, so look into a standing, treadmill or stationary bike desk. Too much of an investment right now? Just download one of the many apps that reminds you to stand up every hour.
2) Make your space beautiful. Your home office might be the room you spend the most time in, so make sure you don’t hate being there. Hang a few pictures, buy some fresh flowers and invest in beautiful office supplies.
Tips from Leslie:
You’ll notice some diversity in these responses related to the type of work each does, and yet, time management and organization is included in each. Without the regular time and visual cues from a job, it’s easy to disorganized and distracted. A schedule and routine helps with that. My top tools include:
Planner: I just switched from a mom planner to the Happy Planner. For me, organizing my day still needs to be on paper. But not all planners work for me. I liked the mom planner because instead of entering my children’s names in the rows for each week, I could put my projects. The Happy Planner gives me even more flexibility. Plus it’s fun.
Big desk: I’m an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person, so I need to keep everything where I can see it. That leads to a lot of mess on my desk including reference books I use regularly, bills, pens, phone, planner, etc.