Staying productive all week as a home-based worker
by Michelle Laurey
It can take a lot of time and effort to successfully run a home-based business. However, many people have natural highs and lows with productivity and focus throughout the week. For example, office workers typically have negative feelings about heading back to work on Monday morning after a fun-filled or relaxing weekend, and they are often eager for Friday afternoon to arrive. This same type of psychology can impact you each day of the week.
When you are a home-based worker, or HBW, your mood or attitude about work can work against you in some cases. However, when you adapt to the psychological factors that may impact you each day of the week, you may be able to boost productivity more effectively.
Choose Your Days of Rest
Even though it may seem we’re starting at the end, all home-based workers know that it isn’t so. Sometimes, freelancers and other stay-at-home professionals may feel as though they must work every day of the week. After all, your income may be tied directly to the amount of time and effort that you put into your job.
The reality is that resting and relaxing a few days each week may actually help you be less stressed and thus more productive on your work days. In fact, the benefits associated with enjoying leisure time are so critical that some successful individuals have adopted a four-day workweek rather than a five-day workweek. Remember that this time can be used to focus on your personal relationships, tend to family obligations, exercise, enjoy hobbies and more.
You may try to arrange some of these activities around pre-determined days off each week. Your office-working friends and family will expect you to adapt to their schedules – after all, they don’t have that option. That is why the days of rest will probably fall on the weekend, as if you were one of them. However, some weeks you may need to work six days per week, but always plan to avoid working seven full days in a row without a break.
The typical home-based worker will start working at a rather slow pace on Monday morning. This is a great time to finish any outstanding work that you did not finish last week. You can also spend some quiet time making plans and lists to guide your actions for the rest of the day and throughout the week.
As you create your schedule for the week, including scheduling meetings, remember to take into account the psychological factors that may influence your work activities and focus on each day of the week. It is important to know when your productivity peak is and to schedule each day accordingly. If you’re a night owl, don’t force yourself to get up at 6 AM. Home-based workers can choose to sleep in.
Some human resources studies have indicated that workers are most productive on Tuesday. While Monday is a day to catch up, plan and ease into the workweek, Tuesday is a day to plow through tasks at full throttle.
Because you may be more focused and motivated on this day, it is a wonderful day to schedule more complicated tasks or tasks that require creativity. Remember that people you work with may also be more productive on this day. Because of this, Tuesday is a great day to have brainstorming session through Skype with your clients and colleagues.
Wednesday can also be an energy-charged day of the week. You have made it through half of the week, and you can see the weekend in sight. You may consider re-organizing your plans and goals for the rest of the week based on what you have accomplished so far. This simple effort may help you to keep productivity as high as possible throughout the remainder of the week. This is particularly helpful if you find that you lag behind in productivity or are distracted more easily toward the end of the week.
You may have worked hard the last few days in your home-based job, and you may find that you are fatigued and less productive on Thursday each week. However, if you want to be as productive as possible, you need to continue to stay motivated until your weekend officially starts late Friday afternoon.
Consider starting the day with a motivational meditation activity in the morning. It is a good idea to have a dedicated space for relaxation in your home office. If you have enough space, you can decorate a spare room as a relaxation room. You’ll feel like you’re in a spa – is there a better way to relax?
Another idea is to get out of the house. For example, you can take your laptop to a local restaurant or coffee shop for a change of scenery. If you have tackled more difficult tasks over the course of the last two to three days, you may be able to enjoy working on lighter or easier tasks on Thursdays. This way, you can accomplish important yet easier tasks to remain productive throughout the day.
You may think that the least productive day of the week is Monday, but studies show that productivity on Friday is as much as 35 percent lower than it is on Monday. You may be mentally fatigued on Friday, or perhaps you are distracted by your fun plans for the upcoming weekend. Rather than tackle important or major projects on Friday, consider keeping your workload light and easy. For example, you may save a list of short to-do items to work on Friday. Perhaps you save your mindless administrative tasks for this day.
If you work remotely for a company that has office workers as well, Friday is a great day to go to the office and touch bases. Remember that face-to-face interaction with live meetings can boost your mentality and is necessary for psychological health. It is wiser to spend your Friday building your relationship with co-workers and managers, getting feedback on your work, than to sit at home and procrastinate.
For most home-based workers, it is not feasible or enjoy to plan to work at a very high level throughout the entire workweek, and it also is not ideal to work more than five days in a row. As you plan your work schedule in the coming days and weeks, focus on the psychological factors that may influence your efforts each day so that you can plan for a more productive week. Don’t be afraid to use all the perks of working from home: relax, take breaks, sleep in – you can do whatever you need to help you be more productive.
About the Author
Michelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.
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