If you're a limited company contractor or freelancer working at home by yourself all day, staying motivated and productive can be a challenge.
However, there are plenty of small things you can do throughout the course of your working day to boost your productivity and remind you of why you enjoy being your own boss so much.
1. Wake up early
If you want to have a good, productive day at work, you need to get out of bed on the right side - and most importantly, at the right time. Set an alarm and don't let yourself press the 'snooze' button.
Getting out of bed can be difficult in the mornings, especially when it's cold during the winter months, or when your partner is having a lie-in, but getting up early is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your day.
Eat a decent breakfast and have a cup of coffee if you need a little extra help waking up and get to work as soon as you can.
There's a common myth that freelancers and other self-employed people like to work in their pyjamas, but you'll almost certainly feel a great deal more productive if you get showered and dressed before getting down to business too.
2. Make a to-do list, and stick to it
Next, you need to make a to-do list and be strict with yourself about sticking to it throughout the day. You could use an app such as Trello to help with this, or simply write a list using pen and paper.
It can be a huge productivity boost to see how many tasks you've ticked off already when your motivation levels dip, spurring you on to get the rest done before the end of your working day.
3. Work out
It's also important to take a break, and using your time out to enjoy some exercise can be a great way to boost your mood and motivation.
If you work from home, it's a good idea to get outside for some fresh air. This could be in the form of a walk or run, but if you're just after a change of scenery from your usual premises, you could head to an exercise class or your local swimming pool or gym to let off some steam so you can return to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.
4. It's good to talk
If you're on your own all day, only communicating with clients via email or phone, it's likely that you may start to go a little stir crazy and crave the company of other people.
Put out a post online to see if there are other home-based contractors or freelancers in your area and arrange lunchtime meet-ups at coffee shops or in your local park to keep your mood up.
This will also help you to network with your self-employed peers and make potential new business contacts who you can share tips with or ask for help and advice during challenging periods.
Alternatively, just make sure that you have plans with other people in the evenings to look forward to, as this will help to prevent cabin fever from setting in and give you a goal to work towards throughout the day.
5. Know when to put down your tools
One of the best motivations throughout any working day, no matter how much you love your job, is knowing when home time is. If you're a homeworker, you won't have the physical journey of going home waiting for you, but you will still have the enjoyment of leaving work behind for the day and doing whatever you please.
Set yourself a time to finish each day and stick to it as much as possible. Although you might need to stay late on some occasions, try to have a routine as often as you can to get the most out of your day and boost your productivity.
6. Work with PayStream's My PSC
Many people cite the admin and paperwork that comes with running a limited company as one of their least favourite parts of owning their own business, taking up lots of their time and, as a result, preventing them from concentrating on the aspects of working for themselves that they enjoy.
However, by working with an accountancy service provider, it can help to free up your time to focus on what you do best - growing and developing your limited company.
At PayStream, our My PSC service provides you with a safe pair of hands by giving help and advice with regards to the running of your limited company.
For example, the service lets you know when your tax liabilities are due, along with how much you need to hold back in your company bank account in order to ensure you have enough to pay those liabilities as and when they are due.
What's more, it provides you with access to our industry leading PSC Insight portal, which gives a real-time snapshot of your company finances 24/7. It will also complete all of your company book-keeping, including your statutory accounts.
There are many reasons to choose My PSC, all of which can be found here.