Many people dream of being able to quit the daily grind of 9-5 employment and set themselves up as a home-based entrepreneur.
However, working from home presents numerous challenges that lots of people overlook when they decide to take the plunge.
Establishing a routine can be tough, particularly with the different distractions that home life can often bring. This can have a negative impact on productivity and make it difficult to succeed in business.
Health is also a major factor, with some home-based entrepreneurs neglecting their wellbeing in pursuit of commercial accomplishments.
Despite some of the negatives, working from home can be hugely rewarding if you manage to establish a harmonious work/life balance.
Read on as we look at ways home-based entrepreneurs can boost productivity and look after their health and wellbeing.
Create a work schedule
Working at a regular office generally means people stick to set hours each day, but setting up at home can bring many unwanted distractions.
Creating a separate workspace is important, helping to establish clear boundaries between your home and business activities.
It is also important not to procrastinate. With no boss or colleagues alongside you, it is easy to become sidetracked into wasting time when you should be working.
Marketing expert Beth Lawrence says it is important that entrepreneurs try to stick to the same schedule every day.
“As an entrepreneur, especially those of us who work from home, it can be easy to give in to temptation and to hit the ‘snooze’ button,” she said.
“Keeping a schedule that works for you makes it easier for your mind and body to be at their optimum when you need them to be.
“Use available solutions to keep you on task. I use Asana for project management, both for myself and for my teams.
“Keeping lists of tasks that need to be completed for projects with due dates and times, along with assignments for teams, helps to keep me and the entire team on track.”
Don’t neglect sleep
Working from home often requires you to make sacrifices, and these often have an impact on areas of life that they shouldn’t.
It is important when you work for yourself to ensure that you make time for yourself by taking regular breaks and getting enough sleep on the best mattress available.
Studies have shown that around 50% of business owners neglect their sleep, regularly getting their head down for less than six hours per night.
A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your ability to function properly the following day, affecting aspects such as memory, concentration, judgement and more.
Steve Kurniawan is an entrepreneur and marketer who understands the importance of recharging your batteries.
“Resting your body and soul is just as important as accomplishing your tasks,” he said.
“Without proper rest, you might not have enough energy for the next week or even the next day, and that can significantly affect your productivity in the long run.
“Instead, take at least one off day each week, and if necessary, unplug yourself from the internet.
Get plenty of exercise
Studies have shown that undertaking regular exercise has numerous positive benefits on a person’s physical and mental health.
Exercise improves mood by stimulating various brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier, improve your self-esteem and boost your confidence.
It is also proven to boost energy, improve heart-health and helps to promote significantly better levels of sleep. If you plan your day properly, working from home gives you the opportunity to fit in exercise like walking or even a visit to the gym.
Lori Cheek, founder and CEO of Cheekd, says exercise helped her to cope with the demands of running her own business.
“I was an accidental entrepreneur and had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she said. “I found my release at the gym.
“It’s the one expense I didn’t give up through building Cheekd. Religiously hitting the gym every single day became a priority to me. I’ve never been in better shape in my life.
“As soon as I wake up, I start the coffee maker then I roll out my yoga mat and do 30 push-ups, 100 sit-ups and three rounds of one-minute planks followed by a quick stretch.
“It takes less than 20 minutes and not only does it get my heart pumping and immediately wake me up, it gives me a calm start to the day! Then I grab my coffee, crack open my laptop and begin the entrepreneurial grind.”
Use the power of the great outdoors
Working as a home-based entrepreneur can lead to people neglecting the things in life they enjoy and this is a recipe for disaster.
The mix of work and home responsibilities can be tough to contend with, but it is important to ensure these factors don’t become too all-consuming.
Heading into the great outdoors is an excellent way to break away from the stresses of everyday life, offering benefits to both health and productivity.
Nipping to your local park for a stroll or visiting the countryside over the weekend for a more in-depth outdoors session are excellent ways to recharge your batteries.
Founder and CEO of Offer James Green says that going for a daily walk helps him feel better both physically and mentally.
“At about the same time every day, I take a 10-15 minute break to go for a walk,” he said. “This not only allows me to feel better physically but also lets me clear my head. I get back from my walk and have more energy.”