Step Three: How to Cut Down on Home Office Distractions & Gain Efficiency
There is nothing worse than being unable to find files or items you need. We’ve already organized your physical and digital files, but there is one more horribly inefficient task you probably struggle with: logging in to websites.
If you’ve ever wasted half an hour unsuccessfully trying out passwords, trying to find the latest version (from the last time you had to change that password) and finally re-setting passwords to a subscription account or online platform you use, then don’t delay any longer. Download a central password manager such as:
LastPass or Roboform
Both are free to download and once you’ve created a strong, central password, you will never have to worry about your passwords again!
You don’t have to remember every password you currently use, either, to set them up. Once you have given your password manager access to your computer, it will automatically store passwords you’ve already saved to your computer. (Just make sure you take the option of deleting these passwords from your computer’s memory, when prompted, once they have been saved to your RoboForm or LastPass vault.)
Not only is this handy and convenient, it will save you hours of time over your work weeks—and it will keep all your accounts, logins and subscriptions secure and safe!
I use LastPass on all of my digital devices, even on my iPhone. It allows you to install a plugin for every browser so you always have access to your passwords and it will create very secure passwords for you. Now you can realistically have a different password for every site.
Be sure to keep a physical copy of your central Password Manager password in an easily-accessible, safe place. (If your computer crashes-a really common problem, if you are using Windows 8 - you may lose key data.)
In every business, there are projects and tasks that are often repeated. For example, you write a blog post every week. You send email to your list every day. You create a new product every month. You make sales calls every day.
Whatever it is, if you’re doing it more than once, it’s worthy of a checklist.
Checklists will ensure:
- The task is always done correctly. If you have a history of sending bad links to your email list, for example, a checklist with “send a test email and check links” on it will help put an end to this embarrassing faux pas.
- Projects are completed quickly. There are few things less productive than re-inventing the wheel with each new product launch. Create a checklist, and you’ll always know exactly what needs to be done, and when.
- You can hand off tasks you don’t like. Having your systems documented with checklists makes it super easy to hire a virtual assistant to help manage those mundane, un-fun tasks you’re doing.
Here’s the biggest productivity killer for any home-based business owner: distractions.
Everything from social media to that pile of dirty laundry is battling for your time. If you allow yourself to be distracted by every new blog post or unwashed towel, you’ll never get anything done.
The key to taming your home office distractions? Having a plan in place, and a schedule for dealing with the things you can’t avoid.
First, determine what your biggest distractions are. Maybe it’s YouTube, or neighbors who want to chat or the latest season of your favorite TV show. Write them all on a list and either formulate a plan for dealing with them (don’t answer the door when you know it’s Sally from across the street), or schedule time to enjoy them guilt-free.
And for distractions you can’t control, try moving the distraction away from your office!
- Move the TV to another room (or around a corner from your office to at least reduce the noise)
- Give your kids headphones, if they are prone to playing noisy computer games or watching YouTube videos
And if you haven’t already done so, don’t be afraid to set firm boundaries.
In order to save you time, I have created an office efficiency plan to help you get rid of those distractions once and for all so you can get more done. Just download, print and complete.
Working from home is a dream for many, but for some, it’s a distraction-filled, inefficient and disorganized environment that makes work a real chore. If you dread heading into your office every day, or you feel you’re not as productive as you could be, it’s time to re-think and re-organize your space.
Remember: In the end, it’s totally up to you to decide what is essential to a well-functioning, enjoyable home office. You work hard and you’ve earned that right!
Finally, don’t procrastinate—take steps to start organizing your home office for minimal stress, maximum productivity and maximum profits today!
Just in case you missed the other installments of this series, you can get them here:
Part 1 - Organizing Your Home Office For Maximum Business Productivity
Part 2 - DIY Home Office Organization Made Simple
Part 3 - 6 Home Office Must Haves for Your Business