Not all business owners have the luxury of working from home. As a virtual accountant, I and my staff, all work from home. We mostly interact with our clients via email and telephone. Face-to-face meetings are rare, especially since we have clients nationwide. It does take dedication though to stick to your work tasks when the laundry beckons or the swimming pool is glistening and calling your name. If you’ve ever worked from home, you may find that initially your productivity suffers a bit and at the end of the workday you’re wondering, “Where did the day go and why is my to-do list still so long?!”

Here are some tips that I use myself and that I’ve passed along to other virtual business owners to help with their productivity:

  • Have a set routine and get into the office at whatever time you have declared “office hours” start. For me, that is 9 a.m.
  • If possible, schedule meetings or phone calls first thing in the morning or last thing in the afternoon—that way you won’t be distracted in the middle of the day.
  • Review your to-do list for the day and make any last minute adjustments that are necessary.
  • Do the most important items on your to-do list first.
  • If you have several tasks that need to be started but not necessarily completed, set a timer and schedule 30 to 60 minute blocks of time and break down the tasks into smaller chunks.
  • For Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, set your timer for 15 to 30 minutes; otherwise you might be there for hours!
  • Before you end your work day, create your to-do list for the next day. This will help you jump right into the day the following morning.
  • Remember, even though you’re working from home and should be diligent in completing your tasks, you still need to take care of you. Make certain you take a lunch break, schedule another break or two, walk the dog or pet the cat, get up and stretch occasionally.

What tricks do you have to remain productive, especially if you hold a virtual position? Please share!

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