How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working Naked

When you’re “Working Naked” — working without the support of the corporate workplace — you face a few challenges. A few of them include staying focused and avoiding distractions. By taking the time to set up your home office to be efficient and change what’s not working, you can create a productive home office.

Start with the right equipment.

Figure out how much time you’re wasting using old equipment and outdated software. Computer prices fall regularly, so it may be worth your time to buy a new laptop or desktop. The money you’re saving by not buying new equipment may be costing you in lost time and productivity.

Turn four machines into one.

If you’re still using a separate printer, scanner, copier and fax, use an all-in-one machine instead. You’ll save space and money by combining machines and you’ll save time maintaining only one machine, not four.

Install software that’s easy to use.

Before you buy and download any new software, try it out for a month. Most software companies offer a free, 30-day trial period. If after that time you know you’ll use the program, buy it. If not, search for something else that will work. You’re not a failure if a program a friend uses, doesn’t work for you. Everyone’s business is different so what works for one person, may not work for you.

Designate a specific place to store extra supplies.

It’s easier to stash supplies wherever they’ll fit instead of trying to find a logical place to store them. Instead, store supplies where you will find them easily, including on shelves or in a closet.

Set a cut-off time for surfing the Web.

You know how it goes…you watch one video and then click on links to a related video. Or you read an article that links to another and an hour later, you’re still clicking on links. Set a timer for 30 minutes, click on all of the links you want, and when the timer goes off get back to work.

Get into a routine.

Be flexible, but for the most part try to get to your home office at the same time every day. If you have specific tasks to handle, add them to your calendar. Treat the time you work on tasks as appointments, and keep them.

Divide your day into blocks of time.

Rather than jump from project to project, designate certain blocks of time for different activities. During a one-hour segment, answer e-mails, while during another segment handle marketing tasks.

Use electronic folders.

Set up folders within your e-mail account to organize incoming e-mails by individual, client or project. Get in the habit of filing emails after you read them or at least once a week. You’ll save time when you look for past e-mails and you won’t have to sort through old e-mails to find the new ones.

Develop the urge to purge.

Some people keep information “just in case” they need it one day. The problem is that when they need it, they can’t find it. Get in the habit of keeping only the papers or supplies you know you’ll refer to or use again. Something is worth keeping only if you’re able to locate it within minutes instead of within hours.

It takes time to set up a home office with function and productivity in mind, but the time you spend planning ahead will help you save time in the long run.

How do you save time while working from home?

Comments

  1. Hi Lisa,

    thanks for discriminating between being effective and being efficient. Most people are pretty effective at being unefficient…

    When it comes to business building with and and on social media, an old rule applies: Less is more ! For example, I deleted my Pinterest account and my Friendfeed account that didn’t help me in my business.

    Yes, purging is important.

    Last but not least, a tip for a great software: Evernote. I just love it and it got me close to being paperless.

    Take care

    Oliver
    Oliver Tausend recently posted..Oliver’s Online Marketing Tip – How To Add A You Tube Video To Your BlogMy Profile

    • I agree…it’s easy to be inefficient, yet some people don’t realize they’re doing that. Purging can make a big difference between being productive and wasting time.

      You took a big step when you identified social media sites that aren’t helping your business and deleted you accounts. I’ve done the same thing with e-newsletters I’ve been getting for awhile. I’m down to two or three that I receive often.

      Evernote is an awesome tool. Anything that can contribute to less paper is invaluable.
      Lisa recently posted..How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

  2. Great ideas (except for the all-in-one printers; most are not worth the price you pay. There ARE two exceptions. Get the BEST printer you can afford [two,maybe- one laser black, the other a good color one, use the one you need for the right job and the lowest costs)- it’s what your clients/customers see…)

    We use a program that forces us to purge. Once a month, all documents that have not been accessed or billed (yes, documents are attached to the client records, as well) are listed for destruction. One must ACTIVELY override the system within 3 calendar days or the document is gone…
    RAAckerman @ Cerebrations.biz recently posted..Another problem with our propensity towards obesityMy Profile

  3. I really liked the idea of putting email in folders. I am so swamped that I don’t. Only if I use the find part of gmail, it will give me all the email that fits that and I think I can easily folder stuff. Thanks, Lisa.

  4. Let go and grow. Release any information you are not using. Make room for information you can use. Blocking up your day is a great secret to success. Drop everything when the clock stops. On to the next task. Dissolve attachments. Boost your effectiveness.

    Setting a cut off time separates your work from play. Actually, it separates effective acts from ineffective acts. Because we’ve all been there: we finish the work day, check out a few youtube videos…then it’s 9:30 at night, a few hours after wrapping up our day, and we decide to go back to work. Bad idea. When you are done, get off the computer. Or sked 20 minutes for casual web cruising and get off the computer immediately when the time expires.

    Sensational tips, thanks Lisa!

    RB
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Network Marketing Mastery – 5 Critical Blogging LessonsMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing your awesome tips too. I love the tip “dissolve attachments.” It’s freeing to let go of anything that’s keeping you from moving forward.

      I couldn’t agree more that it’s a bad idea to go back to work when the day is over. Of course there will be a few exceptions, but it’s so important to have a clear distinction between the work day and a personal life.
      Lisa recently posted..How to Be Effective and Efficient While Working NakedMy Profile

  5. The hardest one for me: Set a cut-off time for surfing the Web.
    I guess this became the alternative to actually chatting with colleagues in a traditional office setup.

    I.MUST.DISCIPLINE.MYSELF.NOW….
    Cham Cuartero recently posted..ANTHOLOGY I – THE OTHER SIDE By Hamidah Gul: A BOOK REVIEWMy Profile

  6. I think this post was meant for me. For one reason. I have been putting off getting a new computer and after I read this, I thought, “yes, this one is taking too much time.” I’m going to go make the purchase this weekend. Thank you 🙂
    Martha Giffen recently posted..Social Media Numbers – Which Ones Matter?My Profile

  7. Thanks Lisa, but if I did not know any better, Id say you were slowly trying to turn my home into a corporate office. LOL except, of course, for the part about working naked. You would definitely get fired for that.
    Joseph D. Shiller recently posted..WB Collectible Daffy Duck Bugs Bunny Hunting Season Print Warner Bros AuthenticMy Profile

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