More and more people are looking at working from home, with an estimated 10% of the working population already doing so. There are many people that thrive in that sort of working environment, but there are many more that can fall prey to the distractions that coming from working in the relative comfort of home. Being productive while working out of your home office doesn’t have to be that difficult, especially if you follow a few simple rules that will help you stay focused on the job at hand. Here are 7 that will help boost your productivity:
1. Set your hours- When you are in a traditional work environment, it’s a given that the work day will start and end at a specific time. That regular schedule creates a sense of order that allows you to focus on work during that period. It’s a good idea to set a work schedule when working at home. That doesn’t have to mean 9-5 every day, but it does mean that definite work times should be set that reflect other things that have to be taken care of outside the home.
2. Ask for peace and quiet - When family and friends hear that you are working from home they believe it gives them the right to call you or visit whenever they feel like it. You generally aren’t allowed to take personal calls at work, so set that rule at home. Make everyone aware of your work schedule and let them know that it’s not okay to call during those hours.
3. Create a work space - It can be tempting to set up you “office” on the couch in front of the television, but that is likely to just create a distraction. Set up a single room or dedicated space in your home where you can work in peace, free from outside distractions.
4. Create to-do lists – If your work day doesn’t have some sort of purpose, it becomes too easy to write it off altogether. Create a list of tasks that need to be done every day. A good time to do that might be near the end of the work day when you still have a clear idea of what is yet to be accomplished in the days ahead.
5. Take a break – Working at home often means being stuck in front of the computer from hours on end. If you were in an office environment you would be entitled to regular breaks, so make sure to take them at home. Give your eyes and brain a rest and you will end up being more productive over the long haul.
6. Get sociable – As great as it is to be your own boss, working at home can create some new problems, most notably lack of human interaction. Make sure to schedule some time with family, friends, and even clients. Rather than talking on the phone, invite a client to lunch to discuss a project that you are working on.
7. Close the office for the night – Working from home doesn’t mean that you have to work all the time. You have already created an office space in your home, so close it down when your schedule for the day ends.