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Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has become the norm for millions of workers around the world. Work-at-home jobs have become more and more common, but the switch from a structured office environment to the comfort of your own home can be a tough adjustment.

The home environment has many distractions, less supervision, less accountability, and minimum communication as compared to when you’re working in the office. However, that doesn’t mean one can’t still be productive. There are numerous ways to keep yourself motivated and working productively from any location.

One just needs to learn how to work effectively and efficiently in this seemingly odd environment, as it is important if you want to grow your business. Read on to get some working from home tips to help you.

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As an entrepreneur, whether you are working from home every day, a couple of times per week, or just working from home while you recover from an illness, these tips can help you to get the most out of your hours. You won’t believe how much you can actually get done in a day.

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Follow this list of 7 tips to make each workday productive:

1. Plan your next day.

Adequate planning will set you up for a productive day. The night before every business day, it’s important to write down an agenda of the tasks that need to be accomplished. By planning you will be prepared with direction and intention. Without a plan, you risk prioritizing unimportant tasks that add no value to your business and end being time-challenged when it’s time to focus on high priority tasks. The end result is being ineffective and disorganized causing you to operate with a lack of purpose, resulting in lost time.

To be successful, don’t just plan for the day ahead; plan for every week, every year, and five years. Planning automatically nurtures a progressive mindset as you envision the future you are setting out to achieve. Most importantly, plans act as blueprints allowing you to actively gauge and measure your progress.

2. Prioritize tasks.

There comes a time you will find yourself inundated with a heavy workload and failing to cope. When you have a full plate, you will be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed. This is when prioritizing is very important, prioritizing tend to solve such a situation whilst bringing you peace of mind. When prioritizing utilize the 80/20 rule.

This rule states that 80 percent of your activities contribute less than 20 percent of the value of your work. So by focusing on the important 20 percent of your daily tasks you still get a higher reward on time investment. Therefore, focus most of your efforts on your top value tasks and you will achieve more.

3. Take breaks.

If you find yourself in a place where you are pushing yourself for long periods without giving your mind a break you will suffer distraction, anxiety and fatigue. The brain can only function efficiently for so long before you need to relax. Every now and then make it a point to go outside for some fresh air, have a snack and refuel. Breaks help prevent burn out and also serve to give you a fresh start upon returning to complete your workload.

Taking at least two breaks each day will increase your productivity and help you to maximize your work potential.

4. Eliminate time wasters.

While at work focus on your work. Avoid getting caught up in social media or personal distractions. Constant engagement in these diversions will have people associating you with being unproductive and inefficient. Focus on being productive during all designated working hours.

Focus on putting your personal socializing off until you are done working hours have come to an end, or leave such activities till the weekend. You cannot maximize productivity whilst wasting precious time.

5. Create benchmarks.

We have established that having a long term plan (vision) is important, but you must actively work your way toward its realization. Creating pre-set achievement-based benchmarks tend to build you toward an ultimate goal.

These small goals motivate you, as you successfully accomplish each goal there is cause for celebration, and with each goal achieved your business grows.

6. Keep Regular Work Hours.

When working from home, one of the most important things you should do is to create a regular schedule for yourself. As tempting as it is to give yourself total flexibility when it comes to when you start and finish, one should be disciplined and set regular working hours that they follow. Having undefined working hours, is the downfall of many entrepreneurs. If you find yourself walking into the office at noon, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

By setting regular hours you are kept engaged in your business and will be productive even on days you don’t particularly feel like working. This makes you more likely to achieve your targets, and having rock-solid working hours makes it easier for people to get in touch with you. This doesn’t particularly mean that you need to stick to a 9-5 schedule every day. You should set a time that gives you optimum productivity, for instance, some people are most productive in the evening. However, it’s a good idea to find out when your clients really need you to be available. For example, it will be important to know when to schedule conference calls so that they planned in such a way they fit into your day.

7. Separate Work Time and Personal Time

Just as it’s important to set working time, it’s equally important to set time aside for yourself. Try not to extend the workday too far beyond what you planned, as there is a risk of burning yourself out.

Always try to keep your work life and personal life compartmentalized as it helps you stay productive and reduces stress.

Working from home can be productive if well planned. I hope you make use of these tips for a rewarding experience, but also don’t hesitate to share yours.