How to Be Productive When Working from Home

Working from home comes with some amazing perks: slide out of bed, enjoy a relaxing breakfast while reading the paper and taking the morning headlines, and saunter over to your home office. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

And that, is just the problem. At home you’re comfortable, familiar and easily distracted. Working from home is less stressful, more comfortable and convenient, but presents you with more options to get off track. It’s important that you can hold yourself accountable – whether you have your own business or still report back to the command center office.

Create A Productive Office

You need to have a space for work only – no kids, no partners, just you and your work. While a messy cramped apartment may offer little to no extra space, even a corner will do. Having a space that is separate from the bustle of everyday life is important.

Split off a part of your bedroom or living room with a folding divider or hang a sheet. You should be able to step into your office, and close off the rest.
Utilize a spare room that’s not being used. Keep personal décor out, and keep it as work friendly as possible. In an office you wouldn’t have personal items, and your home office should be no different.

Hone Your Organizing Skills

A cluttered space = a cluttered mind. Too many family photos will take you down memory lane, and bills splayed on your desk will bring on personal stress. Make your space as much like an office as possible. If you are running a business, without a boss to hold you accountable for work, it’s especially important that you make this possible for yourself.

Create long and short term goals for yourself. At the beginning of the month, layout what you hope to accomplish. In the beginning of the week note what needs to get done. In the morning, list the items that need to be completed before leaving your office.
Get a calendar on your desktop. This is where you look everyday, and can help remind you of important duties, meetings, etc.
Find a notebook or scheduler for your desktop as well. Spell out projects, ideas and small lists for your day. When this is on your desk top it’s easily accessible and won’t get lost in the shuffle.

If you spend much of your day running around, find a good organizer for your smart phone. Utilize Google to keep your email, important dates and project information all in one.

If Only Your Boss Was Around

When you have a boss around, you are less likely to take quick breaks or step out for snacks. At home, with no one watching, it’s too easy to excuse yourself for an extended lunch or multiple coffee breaks. Help motivate yourself to power through work by acting as if your boss was sitting right next to you.

Snacks: Don’t allow yourself to get up 10 times a day for a pantry trip.

Lunch break: If you have personal errands to run, plan them into your lunch break instead of taking valuable time away from your workday.
Clothing: When you dress professionally you are in that frame of mind. Simply changing from your pajamas to jeans will be beneficial.
Working in your home office is a blessing and a curse. Creating a balance is critical to benefiting from working at home while still getting work done. By scheduling personal errands with other work related duties and lunch breaks, you can be sure to take advantage of your situation while staying on track.

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