Richard Crawford Small (www.richardcrawfordsmall.com) is a Surrey-based Amazon #1 Bestselling Author and award-winning business consultant featured in Guardian through to TalkRADIO who helps ethical businesses to develop and uses proven techniques to help them maximise the efficiency of their existing business and then grow using sound ethical principles.
Richard has shared his tips on remaining productive while working from home. Please let me know if you can use these?
- Face your fears now
The prospect of coming out of lockdown as a freelancer, employee or as a small business can be daunting and this can really affect motivation.
The first thing to get you into the right mindset is to try and face your fears because once you deconstruct them and work out what it is that’s actually scaring you you can really start to tackle it so that you’re ready to move forward. As a result productivity will increase.
Sometimes it helps talking to a third party, such as a counsellor or business coach, because their neutral perspective can shed a different light on a problem or area and help you see it differently. Other times it’s just about getting the ball rolling and making a start, whether that’s writing down a list of jobs to do, de-cluttering your workspace, or investing in a more comfortable office chair. Ultimately, any steps taken are a step in the right direction.
- Remember what makes you different
For most of us what makes us stand out from the rest is exactly that – our difference. Rather than fighting against this or trying to dampen it down, I think it’s best to celebrate it. Whether that’s the services you offer, the way you deliver them, the product you make, your ethics, or the way you manufacture or market yourself. Hone in on that USP and shout about it. The lockdown has seen a resurgence in people supporting independent retailers and freelancers, for whom their geographic location doesn’t matter. For that reason it’s never been a better time to remember what makes you different and celebrate that. Putting yourself out there and promote your business to anyone who will listen is a sure-fire way of making you feel in a more productive mindset, allowing your output to increase.
- Reconnect with your client base
Whatever your line of work, your business won’t be successful if you don’t have that human connection. Lockdown has shown just how much people rely on human connections in their lives and it’s no different in business.
In reality with more months of working remotely ahead, forming physical connections with meetings in person is not going to be likely. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still create that connection in different ways.
Try to form strong, meaningful relationships with your clients whether that’s on email or by connecting on social media platforms such as Instagram. By doing so you’ll not only see what makes them tick and allow them to have more of an insight into you, it will also help to build up the trust so that people return to you for business again and again.
Fortunately thanks to social media we live in an age where these relationships don’t have to be in person, so utilise different social media platforms in order to engage with people of different ages and demographics.’
- Focus on your workspace
. Many of us hastily set up a make-shift office in the corner of a bedroom when lockdown was announced over a year ago, and that’s where we’ve remained. With it looking likely that working from home will be a part of life for the foreseeable future, try and make time to really focus on your workspace so that it’s conducive to productivity. I don’t mean spending lots of money on a fancy desk or chair, but even simple things like positioning your monitor on a piece of wood or book to raise it slightly to prevent you hunching over all day, or turning your desk towards the window so that you can actually see the sky whilst you work. Simple changes can be made that will have an enormous impact on motivation and productivity if you just take a bit of time to think about them.
- Review your prices and your product or services offering
Now is the time to ask whether you’re charging the right price for what you offer. In most cases, people aren’t charging enough. Don’t forget that your ability to get your job done quickly, whether that’s writing a business proposal or identify a particular client’s specific needs, is very much down to your experience and expertise. Often motivation increases if you feel that you’re receiving a fair price for your time and services. And it goes without saying that increased motivation results in increased productivity.
- Ignore distractions
Once upon a time work for most people meant leaving home and going to another environment, whether that was an office, school or shop. In these places we are physically removed from all the distractions of home life. So in order to increase productivity when working from home try and ignore the distractions that may be there and focus on the job in hand for a certain period of time. Whether that’s ignoring the overflowing laundry basket for four hours until you stop for lunch, or not being tempted to whip the hoover around instead of writing a document. These distractions aren’t going anywhere, so by trying to ignore them whilst you focus on your work you’ll ultimately be more productive.