7 Productivity Tips For Your Home-Based Business

7 Productivity Tips For Your Home-Based Business A recent NYT article outlining David Pogue’s Productivity Secrets inspired me to think about my own approach to productivity.

Because I have a home-based business, people often ask me how I keep myself productive despite the lure of home-based distractions. Sometimes I’m asked if I’m tempted to do housework instead of working.

Say what now?

Falling off my fit-ball from laughter aside, I thought I’d share a few of the productivity strategies I find helpful.

7 Productivity Tips For Home-Based Business

1. Have a productivity ritual for getting down to ‘serious work’.

A productivity ritual is an excellent strategy for focusing your attention and energy when you need it most – without burning yourself out the rest of the time. By saving it for serious work time, you condition yourself to associate your ritual with focused effectiveness.

2. Use smart reminders

Use smart reminders – reminders placed where you’ll see them when you need to do the reminded action – to prompt yourself about things you don’t want to add to your to-do-list. It helps get stuff out of your head fast, without increasing your to-do pile.

3. Upgrade your phone and email effectiveness

Efficient communication in everyday phone and email interactions can save you a lot of time and energy. It’s worth the initial time investment to create smart outgoing messages.

4. Don’t let Jack/ie become a dull boy/girl

I’m pretty strict about having a little fun every day. It keeps me balanced and stops me from feeling deprived and finding sneaky ways to sabotage my work efforts.

5. Be sanguine about OPD (Other People’s Disorganization)

You can’t avoid it, so you may as well be proactive and self-responsible when it comes to dealing with disorganized people. Focus on asking for what you need, rather than on trying to change the other person.

6. Swap GTD for WSD

Detailed project management systems are great for some people, but most of us can improve our productivity quickly, easily and significantly – simply by writing stuff down. I’m a prodigious user of to-do lists, planners, organizers, mind-maps and such.

7. Keep papers off your desk

I can’t imagine feeling motivated and productive with a paper-strewn desk. Maintaining an easy-to-file, easy-to-find super-simple filing system helps you keep a sense of clarity – both on your desk and in your mind.

(Note: Creating an organized home office is the subject of an upcoming Organizing Mission).

So that’s what works for me. What are your best productivity tips? Please share them in the comments.

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11 thoughts on “7 Productivity Tips For Your Home-Based Business

  1. Juliet says:

    Working at home decreases productivity. We are the ones controlling our working time thus it is usually hard to focus on our business. Searching for home business advice are anywhere on Google. But those advices are usually not followed. But this 7 productivity tips of yours are convincing and I think might work for me. Thanks.

  2. Michele Connolly says:

    @Travis: I don’t do face-to-face work so it’s not an issue for me. I know many people now do coffee-shop meetings – depending on the nature of your work perhaps that’s an option for you. 🙂

  3. Travis Ehrenstrom says:

    First off, congrats on discovering the beauty of a fitness ball! My back has thanked me everyday for the past three months after I made the switch. I currently rent an office and for the past couple weeks I have been debating on re-locating to my home. My main concern is that my clients won’t have a location to have face to face negotiations that make them feel more comfortable, I would gladly offer them into my home, but I could see them having discomfort in that idea. How do you work around client meetings while operating from a home office?

  4. Gwen Thring says:

    I’m finding the home business organising tips useful. I homeschool 4 children, run a household for 8 (DH, 6DC) and am a Cub Scout leader in my spare time. No paid employment here but it sure helps to think of it that way! Thanks!

  5. Michele Connolly says:

    @Jess: Making a list of tasks for the next day, and putting it somewhere visible for the morning, seems to be something many productive people do. 🙂

    PS Do please be careful about keeping your passwords in a safe place.

  6. Jess says:

    Great Tips!

    Each night I make a list of tasks for the next day and set it on my keyboard so it is the first thing I see in the morning.

    I also write the URL, username and password for each of my online accounts on an index card. I keep these in a recipe card box on my desk for quick and easy reference. I also keep a lot of blank cards so I can easily add new login information.


  7. Pingback: Business Development | Social Media Literacy | » Productivity Recap- Friday, July 10th/09

  8. Susan Wareham McGrath says:

    Hi Michelle

    I love your tips – thank you! 🙂

    I find it helpful to schedule a timeframe for each task on my to do list – that way I can monitor my productivity in terms of using time well and it also helps to keep me on focus during the day.

    Best regards

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