Running your own business from home can be difficult enough considering all the ways your time can be lost, without you making matters worse. Follow a few simple guidelines to help increase your productivity.
Doing several similar or identical tasks together saves time, and often increases actual performance. Time is saved by not switching from one type of task to another, with the commensurate time spent setting up the new task.
Credit: MorgueFileIf you need to go out in the car, try to do several errands at the same time. Plan the order in which you do the errands to most efficiently define your route; you don't want to be doubling back on yourself if you don't need to.
Not only will batching errands save you time - any errand that requires a car is probably going to use at least half an hour, given preparation time and cooldown time at each end - but will also save you money. The price of petrol is high enough that you can easily spend several pounds (or dollars) any time you venture out in the car. This, if you are only doing the one errand, can cause you to go elsewhere and spend more money, just to justify the money already spent on petrol.
Use a Shredder and a Bin
Credit: MorgueFilePaperwork is always present, and it seems to breed. A lot of it isn't needed, and should be disposed of, rather than having it hanging around distracting you. A shredder is a very useful tool here, shred paper with any personal information on, you don't want to risk identity theft if you can avoid it; bin the rest.
Carry a Notebook
Credit: MorgueFileHaving a small notebook on or near you at all times, even next to your bed, is extremely useful. Ideas can come to you at all sorts of odd times, and be triggered by the strangest things. If you wait until later before jotting these ideas down - especially if you have them before you go to sleep - it is very likely that, by the time you come to write down the ideas, you will have forgotten what they were. Having an excellent idea for something, and forgetting what it was because you didn't make an immediate not, is extremely annoying, and will potentially lose you money.
It isn't a good idea to jot down ideas whilst driving a vehicle though. In this situation, it's better to risk losing the idea than to risk having an accident.
Have a Project List
Rather than having a "to do" list, have a project list. It is quite likely you will have a selection of different projects at different stages at any one time. With a project list, should you be foundering on your current project, you have other projects you can switch to for a change of pace.
Have Enough Supplies
Credit: eGDC LtdMake sure you always have enough supplies, whether they be printer consumables, notebooks, pens, packaging or whatever you require. Running out of something you need can be extremely inconvenient and, should it be needed for completing something urgently, can require wasting time making a special trip to purchase more.