For people who haven’t yet worked from home but are dreaming of it, the idea of working from home often comes with plenty of connotations of having tons of freedom, and plenty of free time to go along with that.
All too often, however, when those same people actually do make the transition from a conventional day job to a home-based job, they discover that it’s actually shockingly easy to lose track of time, and to more or less inexplicably become “busier” than ever before.
This happens for various reasons, ranging from more time spent lost in procrastination, to more time spent micromanaging elements of your business that you likely weren’t responsible for when working for a company.
If you find yourself in this situation, and wish you could regain some of your precious time, here are a few ways to save more time when working from home.
Pay other people to manage aspects of your business that fall outside of your own core areas of expertise
A good Managed Services provider can handle essentially all of your businesses “online” dimensions in a professional and reliable way, while leaving you free to “reinvest” the time and energy that would otherwise have been spent on things like server and website management.
Everyone has their own core area, or areas, of expertise in a professional context. Some of us are very well-rounded in general, and are quite comfortable operating in a number of different capacities – but it’s unlikely that many people are really capable of “doing it all” – at least, not well.
By simply paying people to manage some of the areas of your business that you’re not extremely proficient in, you may increase the quality of your business as a whole, while simultaneously freeing up a lot of time and energy.
Use the Pomodoro Technique, and put barriers in the way of your most common distractions
Procrastination is inevitably going to be a worse problem when you’re working from home than when you’re working in a more conventional setting, because, among other things, you just don’t have the same level of supervision, and you’re surrounded by your own everyday comforts and gadgets.
It’s important to use tricks to help you to overcome your most common distractions – such as by putting barriers in the way using things like web blockers.
It can also be very useful to use productivity-boosting and time-management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for “sprints” of 25 minutes at a time, followed by five-minute breaks.
Among other things, the Pomodoro Technique helps to chunk down otherwise daunting blocks of work, while also keeping a sense of urgency present.
Include “willpower-strengthening” exercises in your daily routine
Research on willpower seems to show that it behaves something like a muscle. That is, you can “strengthen” your willpower through regular training, and you can also “exhaust” it by overloading yourself.
Kelly McGonigal’s book, “The Willpower Instinct,” argues in favour of performing daily “willpower-strengthening” exercises to help you stay resilient, and stay disciplined and focused in the pursuit of your goals.
One of the exercises that is apparently very effective here is daily mindfulness meditation. But, anything else that might put your willpower to the test – such as starting off each shower cold – might well help, too.