As an entrepreneur, working from home presents many advantages and challenges. If you can run your business from home, it cuts out loads of ongoing costs. There’s no denying it is simply the most affordable way of operating an enterprise. The main downside is that you can struggle to be productive. Some people work well at home, while others struggle to get in the zone.
It’s often found that a lack of productivity stems from the inability to separate work and your home. Mentally, your brain thinks of your home as a place to rest, not a place to work. So, how do you trick your mind into getting into work-mode? It’s not as hard as you think…
Dress for work
You will instantly feel more alert and in the zone when you’re dressed for work. Make a big spectacle out of this; buy a new suit, get some designer glasses from a website, put on a fancy pair of shoes! The act of getting dressed will trigger signals in your brain that makes you think you’re off to work. Right away, you feel more focused on your tasks. If you lounge around in your sweatpants all day, you naturally feel less inclined to focus.
Create a home office area
The next step is to find an area of your home that’s dedicated to working. You will only use this area for work – nothing else. In essence, it becomes your home office and separates business from relaxation. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room or a garage, you can convert them into home offices. For most of us, you may have to settle with finding a quiet area of your room and setting up a desk there. If you lie in bed or work on the sofa, you have far too many distractions. Again, your mind is used to being on your bed and relaxing, so you start to do just that. But, if you have a desk and an area to work, you can make the separation. It makes you feel like you’re in an office, so you enter the zone.
Play ambient sounds through speakers/headphones
Lastly, mimic a work environment by playing ambient sounds through your headphones or speakers. I recommend using headphones when other people are in the house and speakers if you’re alone. Effectively, you want to find sounds that mimic an office or a coffee shop – anywhere that signifies a productive work environment. It tricks your brain into thinking you’re in these places, improving your concentration. I know that streaming services like Spotify have playlists full of ambient office sounds, etc. Play them while you work, and you will notice a difference immediately.
In summary, the worst mistake is acting like you’re working from home! If you relax on the sofa or spend time working in bed, you’re never going to enter the zone. Your brain associates your home with relaxation and shutting off from work. Instead, you have to create an environment that makes you feel like you’re in a productive workplace. As a result, you will enter the zone!