10 Procrastination Traps That Ensnare Home-Based Business Owners—Here’s How to Break Free

Running a business from the comfort of your own home has many benefits—a flexible work schedule and zero commute, for example. Yet, working from home also has its fair share of time-wasting traps.

That’s why we asked entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

Q. What is one way people waste time running a business from home and how can they can be more productive?

1. Going through the motions

Working from home takes discipline and efficiency. You might feel additional pressure to “put the hours in,” but you can also get stuck in a rut of simply going through the motions, without actually being focused on accomplishing specific tasks. When focusing on accomplishing specific tasks, progress takes place. Simply going through the motions pretending to be busy is wasted time. —Shawn Schulze, HomeArea.com

2. Task management

It’s easy to be distracted at home. You’re working on something and then Amazon delivers a package, or you try to watch a show in the background, or your kids are running around. Ironically, people lose focus at home, so I recommend getting out of the house and setting up “remotely” for a day. Being around other people, even at a coffee shop, can be helpful to stay on top of your tasks. —Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting

3. No clear boundaries

As someone who runs her business from home, it’s seriously easy for projects to take a lot of time or procrastination to happen if there aren’t clear boundaries. I often schedule myself a specific date and time allotment for a project, to make certain it gets done (versus just having it as an item on a to-do list for an abstract period of time). Knowing I need to do something at 3 p.m. for an hour helps. —Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage

4. Not separating family and work time

Task switching is incredibly expensive. Going to an office lets you physically go somewhere else during your work time, so you have easier work-life balance. Working from home requires you to do that in your own way, which I have seen many people do poorly. They usually work too much, because there is no separator between home life and work. —James Guldan, Vision Tech Team

5. Inefficient communication

When running a business from home you can communicate with employees and customers by phone, email, text, instant messaging—the list goes on. If you don’t have a communication plan in place, you’ll be sending communications through all of these platforms and checking all of these platforms throughout the day, too, which can be a big time waster. Instead, choose one communication method that works best for everyone. —Blair Williams, MemberPress

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6. Business admin

Admin is a necessary evil. But there are many ways to streamline and reduce admin time by outsourcing. If you run a business from home, chances are you do a lot of everything, instead of focusing on growth activities. If you outsource admin, then you can focus your time on growth activities that are going to pay off in the long term. It’s well worth exploring. —Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

7. Too many breaks

It’s extremely easy to get comfortable when working from home and lose track of how many breaks you may have taken to do tasks around the house. Keep yourself disciplined by following a schedule of breaks, and give your breaks a specific purpose, versus walking away from your desk whenever you want to. Putting scheduled breaks on your calendar will ensure you don’t waste any time throughout the day. —Roger Lee, Human Interest

8. Social media and chores

Nobody has a cleaner home then a procrastinator who works remotely! It’s really important to make a schedule and stick with it when you work from home. If you don’t define your working hours, then other demands are going to define you. And, of course, stay off Facebook! —Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting

9. Lack of accountability

If you are in an office surrounded by people that you pay, there is an incentive to work as hard and efficiently as possible. If you are working from a desk in your house with no one around, the sense of urgency disappears. You have to be good about creating deadlines and goals for yourself that you can adhere to. —Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

10. Loose schedules

One of the perks of working remotely is you get to create your own schedule. But that’s the problem, many remote workers don’t actually create a schedule for themselves. They sit down and work for a bit, then think, “Oh, I’ll finish this later,” and come back hours later. This isn’t good for productivity. Instead, create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. —John Turner, SeedProd

RELATED: 101 Secrets to Running a Successful Home-Based Business

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