We in the final expense insurance game often need to work from home, and it can be frustrating to do so when we’re wrestling with productivity. Home is where we are used to relaxing and focusing on our families, it is difficult to shift gears and focus on work in our safe-havens. After years of struggling with at-home productivity, here are some tips that we’ve put together to help final expense insurance agents everywhere.
- First Things First: Eliminate Distractions
The most difficult part of working from home is how easy it is to get distracted. The first step to increasing productivity is removing these distractions. Move to a room where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off the TV, keep the lights on and bright so you aren’t tempted to take a nap. Clear your workspace of other projects or anything you can tinker with. Put your phone on silent and place it 10 feet away from you!
- Make Music Work with Your Work
Music can be a great focuser. Experiment with different genres to pin down exactly what helps your concentration, and what detracts from it. For me, I can’t listen to music with lyrics without finding myself distracted by the words. Therefore, I’ve compiled a playlist of classical, techno, and instrumental music that starts off really mellow and relaxed while I get into the groove of work.
- Set the Standard with the Fam
If possible, set clear hours during which work is the priority. It may be necessary to chat with your family (especially if kids are involved) about when you need to focus and not be disturbed. Once you open the door during work hours to make someone a peanut butter sandwich, you’ll never get back on track. It can be difficult to be strict, but the more productive you are during work hours, the more work you’ll get done and the more family time you’ll have later.
- Create an Accountability Plan
Just like rewarding yourself when you achieve your dieting goal, having a contingency plan that keeps you accountable for your work at home is an important step toward efficiency. You could have an accountability partner who checks up on your progress and encourages you to focus. You could reward yourself after achieving some goal (whether time-based or product-based). If necessary, try doing to opposite—take things away from yourself unless you do a certain amount of work.
- Take Breaks
For me, taking regular breaks is a must. I schedule them by setting a timer on my phone, or I make them achievement-based by setting a small goal that I have to achieve before I can have a snack or check my phone. Whenever I take a break I stand up and leave my workspace. When I take a break in my work area, that space has been tainted by relaxing and I can’t re-focus. Walking around to get the blood flowing is helpful for my tired brain.