I get emails from time to time asking about how should someone that works from home structure their day & also what are the best ways to keep focused whilst working from home.
So I’ve put together this guide on what I think is important to help you work from home efficiently & also get the most out of the experience, naturally everyone will be different but I’d also love to hear if you do anything different to increase your productivity or make the whole experience better.
Get up Early & get to Bed Early
Getting into a proper routine can be difficult, especially when working from home. You’ve got no boss to impress but yourself, you don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time, you don’t have anyone telling you what to do. This is generally the first mistake that people make, it’s easy to get up at 1pm then work through to 10pm that night or even 3am the next morning. However your body won’t thank you for it in the long run.
Mornings are the most productive part of our day, so use them to get your most important tasks out of the way.
Get up & go to bed at the same time as if you were going to work, if you stick to this you’ll find that you get more done & you won’t have to work as late.
Get Regular Exercise
Working from home can make us lazy, there’s no real need to leave the house anymore…right? Well, Since you’re waking up at the same time you normally would for your day job; you now have more time to be productive instead of sitting on the train or in peak time traffic for an hour. Use this time in the morning to hit the gym or go for a walk, maybe go out & get some breakfast & unwind.
Don’t forget to Eat
When we lead busy lives it can often get in the way of day to day tasks. Don’t forget to feed yourself. Eating 5 Small meals a day will help keep your metabolism up (especially if you exercise in the morning).
- 8am – Breakfast
- 11am – Fruit Snack
- 1pm – Lunch
- 4pm – Savoury Snack
- 6pm – Dinner
Following this routine will ensure that you don’t get hungry throughout the day, it’ll also keep your energy levels up.
Get Showered & Dressed Every Day
Whilst it’s a luxury to sit around in your Pajamas & do work every day it’s not something that is commonly associated with being productive & active. Have a shower & get dressed after breakfast then you’ll feel ready to face the day instead of wanting to get back into bed after an hour of work.
Separate Work from the rest of the House
Having an office or a space that you can work in is imperative, doing all your work whilst sitting on the sofa won’t get you very far. An office helps to keep Distractions to a minimum & also when you walk into your office at the start of the day you feel like “you’re at work.”
Have a Start & Finish Time for Work
Try to treat working from home like a normal job, work starts at 9am & finishes at 5.30pm (if you need to work later later you can). This way you’ll try to get everything you need to get done by the time work is over. If the day is “unlimited” then we tend to waste time reading blogs & forums.
Schedule your Day
Building on the previous point you can schedule your day & write it up on the wall:
- 7am – Wake up
- 7.20am – Exercise/Gym
- 8.20am – Breakfast
- 8.40am – Shower & Get Ready
- 9am – Answer & Read Emails
- 9.30am – Read Blogs, Forums & Catch up on Stats
- 10am – Work on your Bread & Butter Projects (the ones that ARE making you money)
- 1pm – Lunch
- 1.30pm – Test new ideas & tweak campaigns on test campaigns
- 3pm – Work on Link Building & Promotion techniques for Affiliate Sites
- 5pm – Research offers & potential programs for following day
- 5.15pm – Update spreadsheets with yesterdays stats & profits
- 5.30pm – Finish – Free for all work on whatever you want
Ensure you have Good Communications
You want to have a decent DSL Connection, Phone Line (or Skype), the ability to send & receive fax. You’ll also want to have a decent instant messaging program (like trillian) that lets you log into multiple networks at once.
Organisation is key to making this work.
Record what you spend & earn in Spreadsheets, keep your finances organised (i.e. open a business bank account). Spend money during the month on your credit cards (to earn your points), then pay it off at the end of the month.
Set up all your tabs & folders in Firefox. I use the ‘Open in all Tabs’ feature to instantly check all my stats. Or for example say you run a Credit Card Comparison website & need to update the rates, simply have a folder with all the credit card product pages in it & open them all at once with one click.
Also check this previous post on increasing productivity.
Build a Team
There’s no bigger bottleneck in your whole operation than yourself. If something is working for you then get some friends on board, outsource tasks or form partnerships with other affiliates.
Get a Pet
Sometimes working from home can be lonely. There’s no-one to go out to lunch with or (if you’re in australia) all of the people you normally talk to are asleep. I got a cat & it’s one of the best things I’ve ever bought, it’s there when you wake up in the morning, it’s sits beside you as you work & it seems to remove that feeling that “you’re alone in the house.”
Don’t overdo it, working from home is fun. It’s even more fun when you’re making more money than your old job, don’t let it get in the way of your personal relaxing time & time with your family. You know what they say:
A happy wife = a happy life