Productivity Problems Working from Home

It is already Wednesday and I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I wanted to. I have been very easily distracted and clearly have quite a bit to learn about productivity when working from home. It is difficult to balance the freedom that being self employed allows with actually getting work done. Although part of the problem is that I was just burnt out from working and running my business the last couple weeks, I also didn’t really have any structure in place to decide what tasks need to be done and when.

Building Structure
Everyone who has things to accomplish needs a bit of structure. It has become obvious to me that if I don’t have any structure, I will actually do very little work. Going into Monday morning, I didn’t really have a plan as to how I was going to attack the work that needed to get done. I didn’t have specific tasks written down or goals to accomplish for the day. I suppose this is a common noob entrepreneur mistake.

When I only had an hour or two to do work each night after work, I would just pick something to do (more or less out of a randomizer in my brain) and work on it until I couldn’t anymore. I would pick whatever seemed most important, relevant, or exciting at that exact moment. This worked well when it was a just a side project and my sense of satisfaction for the day didn’t really depend on it. The fact that I did something extra at all was usually enough to make me feel overjoyed at my productivity.

However, when you’re trying to work on something full-time, that supports your livelihood, there needs to be a little more thought put into which task you work on next. I needed a system and I failed to recognize that until today. I’m not upset with myself or anything; a learning curve like this was bound to exist and I really had no way to know until I gave it a go.

The Productivity Plan
Since late this afternoon, I’ve been drawing up a plan to put structure in place. The most important aspect I realized is that I need a daily goal that is production focused, not time focused. I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try a 9-5ish schedule. That will probably still work, but I can’t judge my productivity based on that.

Since this article marketing/niche website building idea’s main requisite is writing, I based my daily goal on an average number of words that I want to publish per weekday. Publishing is one thing, but actually writing is something completely different. The publishing goal is simply a measuring stick to figure out how much I need to write each day. Once I had that, I could plan what my particular goal is for which day of the week.

Now I have a schedule drawn up so that I know exactly what I need to accomplish each day of the week to be successful. I’m not saying I won’t slip up one day or need to rearrange it occasionally, but simply waking up and knowing what needs to be done should give me a huge boost in output and efficiency.

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2 comments

  1. Hey Brad,

    I had the same issue when I was on my sabbatical… Here’s one thing that helped me break out of it:

    http://corporatepreneur.blogspot.com/2009/10/hitting-4-hours-day-with-help-of-tomato.html

  2. Pomodoros eh? I looked into that a long time ago and feel like I had some success with it. I’ll have to give it another go.

    Thanks for the link!