We each of us have at least eight hours a day which we can use to be highly productive, when we work from home. With no commuting time, nothing else to focus on, no distractions from peers of colleagues, and full choice over whether we answer the door or phone, or not, people who work from home must be the most productive, prolific and successful people on the planet.
So, why do we seem to be stressed, floundering or sometimes simply swamped with work? How come we can never seem to reach the end of the bottomless pit which is our list of things to do, and walk away from the end of the working day feeling smug, satisfied and relaxed?
Distractions. The one thing coming between each of us and reaching our goals for our business. The thing which prevents full productivity, and stops us from achieving everything which we dream of both on our blogs and throughout the rest of our lives.
When you take any given day, how is yours filled? What do you do, usually, which takes you away from your desk and plunges you in to the sphere of unproductivity? For me, it’s small things which you don’t even question – helping out around the house, popping out to the store, tinkering in the garden. All of these things, as valid activities, tend to work well to keep me from doing the actions which I have set out for the day to help my business, without making me feel guilty about wasting time.
The problem is, however, they are all time wasters. If I had the method and perseverance to stop getting sidetracked by activities which weren’t associated with my blog or business, imagine how much I could achieve? Imagine the potential if I could tap in to a full eight hours a day without getting carried away with a job in the house or garden, a phone call from a friend or that sudden desperate urge I have to go and check out the box set of ‘24’?
The reality is, not one person on the planet has the power, diligence or downright stubbornness to seat themselves at their desk and apply themselves to their business for a full eight hours. Basic needs such as the washroom or lunch time will come in to play. We will need a coffee. The dog will need walking. All of these activities can be undertaken in less than half an hour a day, perhaps. This still leaves a full seven and a half hours to get on with what needs to be done.
Breaks from work are positive – they leave us feeling refreshed and comfortable, ready to apply ourselves again. The trick is to know just how long a break you may need to leave you ready for work, without letting your break expand until it becomes your full day. If you go to the kitchen to fix a sandwich, don’t suddenly notice that the washing up needs doing, the shopping putting away, the refrigerator re-stocking. Do what needs to be done, and then go back to work.
Having a conscious battle against distractions is tough at first, but very soon it becomes a habit – a discipline which you can apply automatically without feeling an internal struggle. Give it a go – and see what you are capable of, if you set your mind to it.