11 “Killer” Tips To Stay Focused And Motivated Working From Home



11 Killer Tips For Staying Focused And Motivated Working From Home

Thinking about making a shift and working from home? Have amazing dreams of how wonderful it will be to wear your pajamas on conference calls, laze in bed until 9am and slowly get into your day and be able to have coffee breaks whenever you want? Yeah okay, it sounds pretty cool. And it can be. But there are some things you need to know about working from home before you make the leap.

I don’t share this to scare you or to try and discourage you from working from home, I truly believe it is a wonderful thing to do. I love the flexibility, I love being autonomous and I love that I get to be my own boss. I derive particular enjoyment on those cold Monday mornings when it’s raining heavily and you just know the traffic tailbacks would be nothing short of atrocious, and that I don’t have to deal with it. I’ve already worked productive hours and many people are still waiting for the car in front to move forward.

Though it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Here are a few things you should consider…

Firstly, it can be quite solitary…

My friend Steve has kindly suggested I maybe do a day or two a week in his rather funky and plush offices here in Sydney, and we get on really well. I think he’s genuinely worried about me. I think he’s worried about my daily lack of human contact. Though, the thought of all that morning traffic… Losing that first hour being in the car, and then again on the way home is a major turn off for me at this stage in my life.

Sure, I love a bit of banter just like the rest of us, though I am also easily distracted by conversations within earshot when I’m working, and find it hard to concentrate generally with all the distractions you find within an office environment.

So, yes working from home can be a little solitary, though I think I manage that quite well. I’m a bit of an ambivert. Half introvert, half extrovert.

The most conversation I have in a day will probably take place either via email, Skype and it’s most likely about work. I really enjoy the luxury of being able to factor in an hour each day to exercise. It’s either the gym, a coastal walk or a surf, depending on how the waves are looking. So, solitary yes. Am I lonely? No, not at all.

It Can Be Difficult To ‘Switch Off’

Without the need to go into the office to work, and with the motivation of working for myself, I could easily ‘work’ from 5am when I get up through to 10pm at night when I finally turn my computer off.

Because you’re always ‘at work’ it can be tempting to work all the time and switching off can be difficult. It’s definitely not something I’ve mastered or will master anytime soon, but it’s certainly something I’m aware of. I have gotten a lot better at recognising when my productivity or concentration is on the slide, and calling it quits for the day.

Setting ‘work hours’ has helped a lot. Planning out when I will be working and when I will be taking down time stops the guilty feelings creeping in when I’m not working.

You Need Time Management And Discipline

When you do get more coffee date and lunch invitations (and you will) it can be difficult to stick to your work hours, regardless of how much of a workaholic you are. Because in your mind you can still do the work early in the morning and late at night, so why not go out and catch up.

This can also be the case when you’re at home and realise that the floors need vacuuming, or that the kitchen cupboards really do need rearranging, or that you could add an extra dish to dinner tonight.

Time management and discipline are essential when working from home and different styles work for different people. It may take you a little time to work out your groove and be sure to find what does work for you rather than doing what you think you should be doing. That’s why we work from home – so we can be flexible and work the way we want. Once you work out which are your most productive hours. For me personally, it’s 5am until 1pm, then, I definitely need a change of scenery. 

Routines Will Be Your Best Asset

Routine helps productivity so much, and it means that you don’t have to use valuable mental power thinking of what you need to do next because it’s all set for you.

Simple routine tasks can make such a difference. As I said, I get up at 5am every morning, make my coffee and sit down to work…the biggest plus for me has been spending just a couple of minutes the night before planning the next day’s efforts. That way, I’m not starting the day by procrastinating over what needs doing.

This allows me to start the day with a few ticks in boxes of what needs to be done. I don’t have a full day routine because so many things change throughout my day, but I do have little ‘mini’ routines that take around an hour or two that I can slot into any part of my day.

Again, it’s all about working out what works for you.

Get Out Of The House

You work there, you live there, you never leave there… well at least that’s how it feels some days. Don’t get too caught up in the whole ‘work from home’ title. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you actually have to do all of your work while you’re at home. Now I said I don’t want to commute to an office, though a favourite local cafe is very doable.

Get out of the house and go to your local cafe, use their free Wi-Fi, drink coffee and see your productivity go up! If cafes aren’t really your thing you might prefer to head down to the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live close by one) or even just to a nice big shady tree that you can sit under.

Getting outdoors and into the fresh air can really help with your productivity and healthy mindset, as well as decreasing your stress levels and getting a good dose of Vitamin D while you’re at it. While it seems like there are a lot of hurdles with working from home, every place you work has hurdles and struggles, this just means you need to learn how to deal with a new set.

It feels like every few minutes something pops up to make us procrastinate, distract us, and totally suck out our motivation. Even when you love what you do, part of working from home is grappling with distractions and keeping yourself motivated throughout the day. It can be so hard to stay focused and productive!

 If you’re nodding along right now and thinking back to a particularly unproductive day you had in the last week working from home – I get you. Some days the struggle is so real. While I’m not perfect, I’ve created a few practices along the way that work well to help me get stuff done… without frantically trying to hit all my deadlines in 30 minutes late at night after procrastinating all day.

Tip 1: Keep A Super Short Daily “To Do” List

Now, let me be clear: I do have a rather large master to-do list that I’m constantly adding too. Though I’ve learnt that focusing on that huge to-do list day to day completely sucks my motivation and is immediately overwhelming. Trial and error has taught me that no matter how much I try to smash things out, or how many hours I work, or how much I prioritise work over everything else in my life, there’s still no way I’ll complete everything on my master list today/this week/or this month.

So, instead of focusing on my master to-do list day to day, I keep a super short daily to-do list, and it definitely helps keep my motivation levels high. If I know at the beginning of the day that I’ve only got two or three must do things that I really need to smash out, I am much more likely to get stuck straight in and get them done. A short to-do list, where I focus on my top priorities for the day, is much more motivating. I know I can tick both boxes, and move on.

Tip 2: Do Your Most Important Tasks First!

Tip 3: Remove Distractions

And by “remove distractions” I mean work offline as often as you can!

For me, this is super helpful if I’m coming up with blog post content, or working on or creating a sales page, I’m able to settle down to work, focus and, as a result, create faster and much more easily when I’m offline. This works especially well when there’s no option for me to be online.  

Tip 4: Focus On One Thing Only

I say this because on the days where I try to multi-task, I just end up stressed, overwhelmed, and get to the end of the day with nothing of much substance done. But if I try to focus on one task at a time… at the end of the day I can point to something and say, “Yes, I did that,” and feel as if I’ve really pushed the needle forward.

Tip 5. Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you can swing it, they truly make a world of difference. I’m very sensitive to noise and can become easily distracted by even a dog barking outside, particularly if I’m writing. Good headphones help me keep my sanity and stay on track. These Bose Quiet Comfort 35 wireless headphones were just a fantastic investment. I bought these headphones about a year and half ago and I use them almost daily because I just love the sound quality and the comfort.

Tip 6: Minimise Potential Distractions

  • Turn off all notifications.
  • Put your phone on silent and resist the urge to check texts or missed calls.
  • Don’t check any social media.
  • Close out your email window so new messages can distract you.

 Tip 7: Know When To Call It A Day

Don’t make it a habit of working until midnight every night. Unless you are truly on a roll and producing quality work deep into the night, call it quits and start again after you’ve had a chance to catch some shut-eye.

Keeping yourself motivated, productive and happy working from home can definitely take work. I hope my tips help you to achieve the success you deserve!

I really hope this helped. I’d love to know your favourite way to stay motivated working from home? Have I missed anything here though?

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 Book Of The Week:

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As always, thank you so much for tuning in. I really hope this helped. Hey, have I missed anything here though? 

 

p.s. If you enjoyed this, you might also like:

Best, Phil

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Drop me a note in the comments section over at hotclicks.com.au and let me know your thoughts.

Listen to the full episode now >>

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How To Create Irresistible Headlines (People Can’t Help But Click)

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Phil Adair

Hot Clicks Pay-Per-Click Online Marketing

Suite 12, 5th Floor, Dymocks Building

428 George Street, Sydney 2000, NSW, Australia  

W: hotclicks.com.au

I’m a huge fan of connecting on social media. If you’re on these social networks, then let’s follow each other: 

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How Do I Optimise My Website’s Copy?

Don't Leave Your Audience Cold...

So, how do you optimise your website copy to ensure it’s quick and easy to digest for your visitors?

It doesn’t need to be that complicated…

The best way to optimise your content is too firstly:

 

Break up your content with great, highly viewable, highly compelling images.

 

Here’s a recent favourite image of mine below conveying coldness… any good? What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use bullets and numbered lists to explain your points, include quotes to demonstrate authority and start your content summarising the points.

 

This quickly lets your readers determine if they want to go from scanning to reading.

 

Hot Tip! Measuring page views is a thing of the past. Engagement or visitor to engagement is the most important metric.

 

Use Short Sentences/Paragraphs

  • Short sentences seem like less of a commitment they seem less overwhelming.
  • Simple sentences void of any complicated structures have the same impact.
  • As a rule of thumb, there should be no more than 80 characters per line. Short paragraphs (3-4 lines, maximum) make scanning easier. Big blocks of text are daunting.

Subheadings / Content Blocks

  • Subheadings, much like they do in an article, help sort and organise copy.
  • Use descriptive subheadings, not vague or clever headlines.
  • On a long page, use different background colors and images to show a separation between sections (e.g. how it works and testimonials.)

 

Clear Font

  • Large font is easier to read, so try 14-16px at least.
  • The more space there is between two lines of text, the easier it’ll be to read / scan. Aim for a 24px space.
  • Contrast is key. Black font on a white background has high contrast, making it easier to read. Light grey text on a white background or a dark grey background has less contrast, making it more difficult to read. Sans serif is easier to read online.

 

Fluency

  • Fluency is essentially the measure of how easy it is to think about something. As humans, we prefer to think about things that are easy to think about.
  • High cognitive fluency means something is easy to think about, meaning people will be more willing to engage with the copy
  • Use words and phrases that are familiar to your audience.
  • Write the way most people speak… simply and concisely.
  • Use basic words and simplify your concepts.
  • Be aware of the jargon and “industry speak” you use. Avoid bringing that into your copy unless you’re specifically looking to attract people as familiar with the industry as you are.

 

Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand a written text. The readability of a particular text depends on content (for example, the complexity of its vocabulary and syntax) and typography (for example, its font size, line height, and line length).

 

Conclusion

  • Use short sentences and paragraphs so that you don’t make you copy seem more daunting than it really is.
  • Use subheadings and content blocks to separate and organise your copy.
  • Use large, sans serif font in a colour that contrasts your background.
  • Write simply and concisely so that your copy is easy to think about.

You should always ensure your copy is…

Legible – People can recognise individual characters in your copy.

Readable – People can easily understand the text.

Comprehensible – People can process and grasp the meaning behind your copy.

 

Have I missed anything here? Let me hear your thoughts on how you arrange your website copy and your best practices.

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Phil Adair

Hot Clicks Pay-Per-Click Online Marketing

Suite 12, 5th Floor, Dymocks Building

428 George Street, Sydney 2000, NSW, Australia  

W: hotclicks.com.au

I’m a huge fan of connecting on social media. If you’re on these social networks, then let’s follow each other: 

Twitter 

Google+ 

Facebook

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About Phil Adair

Phil Adair is the host of one of the most downloaded online marketing podcasts on the internet (Go here to subscribe and listen to The Online Marketing Strategies Show.)

Read his inspiring bio now.

Feel free to send Phil a message here >>

 

10 Reasons Your Website Copy Might Need Some Love

Made any improvements lately? – your headlines and call-to-actions in particular?

 Making your text much more engaging and captivating is actually one of the quickest and highest-impact ways to improve your website conversions and sales.

 

It doesn’t matter how good your website looks if your text doesn’t sizzle and captivate – your visitors won’t be excited to learn more and will bounce often – meaning many lost sales for you!

 

You don’t have to have a degree in marketing to write more captivating text either – Here are some expert tips to help you quickly become a copywriting pro, and convert many more of your visitors into sales.

 

1: Captivate visitors by mentioning their needs and pain points

 

Often the best way to improve the effectiveness of your text is to think in your visitor’s shoes and prominently mention words on key entry pages that relate to (and solves) their main needs, problems or frustrations.

 

Try asking intriguing questions in your text that your visitors can relate to (particularly in your headlines) and then mention why your offering is the best solution for them. Researching more about your main types of visitors and getting feedback from them is essential to do this.

2: Focus on benefits and results of your product/service – not just features

 

Your visitors of course need to know your product/service features, but many websites forgot to also translate them into benefits and potential results – which is what your visitors really ultimately care about.

 

Therefore its essential you prominently mention these on your product/services pages – for example, if you are selling services, you should mention the benefits (saving time, effort etc) and impact on revenue for your clients – not just the service features.

3: Use proven highly-engaging powerful words far more often

 

Give your website text a makeover by using time-tested marketing power words. How many of these great examples below are you using on your website? Go ahead and check right now, particularly for your key entry pages, and start introducing more:

 

Discover, Secret, Results, Imagine, Guaranteed, Instantly, Powerful, Easy, Simple, Exclusive…

 4: Do the ‘we we’ test to make your text more visitor-focused

 

To engage many more visitors, focus your words on their viewpoint, not on you or your business – so avoid using ‘we, I or us’ and your company name too often. Instead, use much more visitor-orientated and friendly words like ‘you’ and ‘yours’.

 

To help improve this, you should to the ‘we we’ test to check how many times you use each type of business or visitor word on your key pages. Make sure you use higher amounts of visitor-focused words – doing that will instantly upgrade the engagement of your text!

5: Write magnetic headlines to hook your visitors

 

Your headlines can make or break whether your visitors stay on your website or bounces prematurely.

 

Try using several styles to see which converts best, including benefit driven ones, social proof or testimonial focused ones, or pain point related questions. This tool helps you analyze how good your headlines are.

 

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar” David Ogilvy

 

Don’t forget to also test your headline size to make it stand out more, and the number of words used (short and sweet is better – ideally under 10 words). Here’s a great headline combining many best practices:

6: Know which boring and dull words to avoid like the plague

Some words are just a waste of space and opportunity on your web pages, and should be replaced with much better, more engaging words.

 

Here are some of the most conversion-killing words I still see way too often that you should avoid:

  • Submit (use a much more engaging word that implies the benefit of clicking)
  • Click here (pointless self-referential words – wasted opportunity to write a better call-to-action)
  • Cheap (makes your service/offering sound low quality – use ‘low cost’ or ‘affordable’ instead) 
  • Utilise, leverage, mission statement and other corporate words (too dull)

 

Edit ruthlessly

7: Ruthlessly cut your text and make it concise

To increase the chances of visitors reading your text and seeing your key points, you need to start really cutting down the amount of words you use.

Shorten your paragraphs and sentences, cut out fluff words, unnecessary extra detail words, and don’t ramble – be direct. If the words don’t help explain anything, or don’t add any real value to the sentence, then get rid of them.

8: Focus on improving your call-to-action button wording

The wording of your call-to-actions are critical – it’s essential you persuade more visitors to click on your buttons and key links. Always avoid using generic words like ‘learn more’, ‘submit’ or ‘subscribe’ – use much more compelling text instead.

Benefit and power related words will work well, as will using action-driven words, which leads us nicely into the next tip.

9: Inspire action – use words to get your visitors to act quickly

 

Realise that your visitors are often in a rush and don’t have much time, so get them to act quickly on your website offerings.

 

Action words are particularly important for using on your call-to-action buttons and links. Here are some good examples of action words to help you come up with ideas to test:

 

Now, Today, Get started, Fast, Quickly, Discover, Create, Instantly, Try, Learn, In Seconds.

10: Use sub-headers to make your text much easier to scan

Remember that visitors don’t read online the same way they do books or magazines – instead they scan text and will only read more if something catches their eye. Making use of many descriptive sub headers will make your text much easier to scan – they also help to break to categorise and break up long blocks of text.

 

I really hope this helped. Hey, have I missed anything here though? Drop me a note in the comments section below and let me know your thoughts. 

Like this post at all? Why not Pin it!

 

Remember to subscribe to my podcast 

 

Check out my [FREE] AdWords Video Training Series.

Get Instant Access Here >>

7 Absolutely Killer Tips For Google AdWords & Why They Crush The Competition

 

 

How to Build an Email List FAST – 7 Simple Methods You Can Use for FREE

Download The eBook Now:

 

Download here >>

 

 

Phil Adair

Hot Clicks Pay-Per-Click Online Marketing

Suite 12, 5th Floor, Dymocks Building

428 George Street, Sydney 2000, NSW, Australia  

W: hotclicks.com.au

I’m a huge fan of connecting on social media. If you’re on these social networks, then let’s follow each other: 

Twitter 

Google+ 

Facebook

YouTube

Pinterest

Instagram

 

About Phil Adair

Phil Adair is the host of one of the most downloaded online marketing podcasts on the internet (Go here to subscribe and listen to The Online Marketing Strategies Show.)

Read his inspiring bio now.

Feel free to send Phil a message here >>