Let’s face it; we all tend to romanticize working from home. Setting your own hours, time to work on pet projects, freedom from prying eyes, and casual conversations are just a few advantages. While working from home allows you a reprieve from chatty co-workers and bosses who need just a minute of your time, you are also exposed to different disruptions to hinder your workflow.

Gone are the days when working from home conjured an image of a slacker in pajamas. With the ever-going advance in technology backed up by employers looking to lower their costs and employees ready to forgo lengthy commutes, more people are working outside an office than ever before. According to a recent survey, 61% of the workforce in the U.S. is now making a conscious choice to work from home of their own will rather than just out of necessity. The same study also concluded that people are making tradeoffs in their minds and are seeing flexibility as more valuable than co-worker connection.


However, whether you are a full-time freelancer, an occasional telecommuter, or even a designer, working outside an office can be challenging if not handled with care. You need to learn to set yourself up for success by staying focused and productive while keeping your work life separate from your home life. Another study conducted by Stanford University revealed that employees who worked from home, maintaining a strict set of guidelines and clearly defined boundaries were 13% more efficient than their office-bound colleagues.


Based on these surveys, below are some best practices and tips to work from home and augment your memory and help you prioritize your work better.

5 Tips to Work from Home:


It all begins with maintaining a schedule.

The first of 5 tips to work from home more efficiently is maintaining a schedule. Without supervision, even the most hardworking and conscientious can slack off. When you sit down to work, planning is everything. Creating a plan and setting a schedule provides structure to the day and helps you stay motivated to keep going. Leading experts suggest that you must start your day as you would if you worked in an office. So get up early, get dressed, and avoid any online distractions once you sit down to work. 

Whether you just started working from home or if you have been doing it for months, take a few days to focus on and determine the best rhythm for your day. Then set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish daily. By making a schedule and sticking to it day after day, you’ll notice a steady improvement in your productivity. 

Stick to it and keep going on. However, while doing so, always remember to give yourself permission for some downtime. And if you have worked extra hours to complete a project, give yourself some extra free time later on, to compensate for it.


The subtle art of creating boundaries

Boundaries define us. They are healthy, normal, and necessary. It’s very easy to lose sight of the prize and let your work life blur into your home life when we work from home. These tips to work from home will help. To keep the two distant, try sitting down with your family and friends and help them understand that even though you are working from home, you are still off-limits during your scheduled hours. This allows you to stay focused and makes it easier to step out of your work mode at the end.

So, invest in a good calendar and plan out your work hours. While doing so, don’t forget to schedule some quality time with friends and family. And after you are done with your scheduled work hours, don’t worry about stopping for the day, even if you are on a roll. Pausing in the middle will only make it easier to jump into the task the next day.


Brain breaks matter!

For many of us, it may be tempting to work flat out, especially if you are trying to prove that you can be equally productive and efficient while working from home. However, taking regular breaks between work is vital to being productive. These breaks need not necessarily be a nap. In fact, they can take any particular form. From reading a newspaper to walking your dog or even something as simple as staring outside the window, anything that allows your brain to recuperate briefly is enough to remain productive.


The importance of staying connected

As humans, we are all programmed to be social creatures. Staying isolated for a prolonged period affects our mental health and weakens motivation and productivity. So if you don’t have a job that requires face-time with others daily, you need to put in the extra effort and try to stay connected with the outside world. Schedule regular coffees with colleagues and meetings with clients! Check in as often as you can with colleagues and superiors, get involved with a professional organization, and share what you have been doing with them.


The power of reflection

Staying motivated and being efficient at your job can be challenging, especially when working from home. From that tall pile of dirty laundry lurking in the corner to Facebook notifications popping in every few minutes, staying focused is undoubtedly not an easy task. One smart way to maintain momentum is to spend a minute or two every day acknowledging what you have been able to accomplish that day rather than staying fixated on things that still need to be done.

Reflect on the day’s events and focus on taking some time out at the end of each workday to reflect on the things you got done rather than those you didn’t. Consider the things you were able to cross off your lists as wins and celebrate them no matter how small of a task that might be. Trust me; celebrating these wins helps immensely in increasing your efficiency. These are the 5 tips to work from home.

Are you ready to start your own business? 6 highly effective tips for becoming successful

It is no secret that starting your own business can be quite overwhelming. You’ll most probably come across a lot of different advice from people who don’t even know the first thing about running a successful business. Research indicates that almost 75% of business startups end up failing every year because their created products or apps did not quite resonate with the market demand. Turn to the internet, and you’ll be swamped by the vast majority of articles claiming to be the authority on the subject. 


Starting your own business and running it successfully means that you’ll often blaze your own trail. While countless books and seminars offer useful advice, no career guides, maps or counselors can actually guide you from one step to the next. You’ll have to make it up as you forge ahead into unchartered territory. However, while no two entrepreneurs are the same, some advice is universally valid no matter your niche, area of focus or industry. Following are six essential tips to help you pave your way to success.


  1. It all starts with a vision.

When you start your own business, things can go wrong pretty quickly. However, sticking to your vision will take you far. It will enable you to make your dream venture a successful one. Although this course may not always be the one you imagined for your business, in times like these, your big vision can become your north star and help you navigate and orient yourself through the darkness. Remember! Your vision for your business is like your compass. It is a celestial beacon that will light the way forward and steer you to success.


  1. Network, network, and network!

Many businesses would not be where they are today if they did not engage in professional networking when they first started. To start your own business and make sure that it succeeds, you’ll need to create your own word of mouth. So begin by becoming your own brand ambassador, touting the benefits of working with your business, and showing others why they should give you a chance.


Today, given the importance of networking, several trade shows, and networking groups exist to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with other professionals. So get out there and start with your own momentum. After all, these initial connections are essential to help lead to future business prospects, strategic partners, and even mentors with the possibility to help grow your business.


  1. Spending slowly and strategically

With today’s cutthroat competition, almost every entrepreneur wants to hit their first major milestone faster, especially if you have just started your own business. While some entrepreneurs choose to fund their projects themselves, others gather investors to do their bidding. However, what many new businesses don’t realize is that when you get too aggressive with spending, you become careless and lose sight of what’s important for the success and survival of your business in the long run, which is profits.

When you start your own business, focus on investing every dollar planning on near-term returns so that you can invest cash flows back into the business. This ensures that you won’t end up burning through your cash pile and prevent you from situations where you have to panic-raise more funds later.


  1. Staying ahead of the curve.

Now that you have taken on the role of an entrepreneur, you can no longer afford to be rooted in the present and focus solely on the day-to-day tasks. Starting your own business involves taking on the role of a leader and keeping one eye focused on the future. If you don’t engage in anticipating the upcoming movement in your industry, you’re destined to fall behind. This is why successful business owners always study new trends and anticipate what’s coming around the bend. This helps them to adapt and evolve nimbly. 


So, as a new startup, try to read trade magazines and websites to stay on top of emerging issues and trends in your field. Keeping your pace aligned with the changes in your niche industry assures that you’ll have your finger on the pulse to predict what customers will want and in which direction your competitors will be moving.


  1. Make room for a healthy work-life balance.

Starting your own business and succeeding at it requires a lot of time and energy. While it’s good to stay on top of things, it’s paramount that you find a healthy work-life balance, no matter how challenging it might be. Letting your work dominate you can result in burnout and losing touch with those you consider most important. 


It is also important to take care of your health and well-being. Remember! Your business cannot run without you. While you might think that you need that perpetual hustle to succeed, that pace can and will eventually burn you out unless you don’t take time out for yourself. So, set clear boundaries and invest in finding ways to maintain healthy relationships outside work. You’d be amazed by how recharging your batteries will only inspire you to persevere as you dream even bigger.


  1. Believe in what you are doing.

We’ve all heard this advice way too many times, haven’t we? However, believing deeply in the vision of your newly established venture and the products or services that it provides is imperative. To be successful, there has to be a spark, something so motivating that failure is not even an option. Indeed, you will stumble across a few hurdles and obstacles on your way to success. But instead of allowing it to dissuade you, be laser-focused on the right steps, messages, and marketing to pave your way to success.


While this may sound simple but upfront, unbridled enthusiasm over an idea must be tempered with thoughtful planning to anticipate obstacles and approach a new venture with a clear strategy in order to create the energy to succeed.


The bottom line

When you start your own business succeeding in your new business requires careful financial, legal and strategic planning. Still, if you keep the tips mentioned above in mind, it will surely lead you forward towards victory and triumph. And if things get challenging on your path as an entrepreneur, simply fuel your big vision and remain committed to moving forward! Good luck.