As anyone who works from home knows, it can be quite difficult to stay organized while in your home office. Although there are many advantages (like avoiding rush-hour traffic or being able to go to work in your pajamas) there are some very real challenges. It can be quite strenuous to keep your home office organized and free of distractions, such as household chores, errands, TV, children,spouses and pets. Not necessarily in that order! Here are some tips for working from home so you can stay on track! Especially during the Holidays this can be really challenging, but on the best of days, getting done what you need to in your home based business from your home office is a feat! I love it and I can’t imagine otherwise but it does take focus and discipline too. I haven’t had to drive a commute for 10 years and I can tell you, I do not miss it!
Working From Home
1. Remove the distractions. After all, distractions are the number one reason for being unproductive while working at home. Are you tempted by all the wonderful shows you could watch on TV? Or maybe the washing machine and the dishwasher calls you? And the kids can be a bit demanding too if they are front and center. As much as possible, keep these distractions out of reach. Also, I like to keep my office area clean when working from home, that way I am not distracted by the things that need to be cleaned up. I am someone that needs some order so I often start the day just tidying up my office for a few minute so it “feels good” to me as I am working.
2. Create your own dedicated office space. It is very difficult to stay focused and motivated if you are working in your bedroom or on the couch. It is very important that you dedicate an area in your house to being your office space. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to keep your train of thought on track if you have a number of distractions staring you in the face because you are working on the living room couch or the kitchen table. If you don’t have an actual room for your home office with a door you can shut, then carve out a real space wherever it is and put a sign up for the family that when you are in work mode, they need to wait…Easier said than done, I know but we do train people (even family) how to treat us. It is good for your family to see you focused and accomplishing too. The best way to mentally get yourself into work mode is to create an area that is your dedicated office or space. Make it feel good to you. We spend a lot of time working so enjoy your surroundings whether that is a bouquet of fresh flowers, or your favorite music in the background, create an environment that you enjoy. Simple things really do add up.
3. Keep your office stocked and ready to go. Make sure that you have all the supplies that you need so you don’t have to stop what you are doing to go grab them. I also like to have my favorite teas and healthy snacks stocked so I have something to keep me fueled. Now that you are ready to go, practice setting aside 2 hours a day for dedicated focus time. It is amazing how much you can get done when you power through 2 hours of serious focused time without distractions.
4. Set office hours that you will stick to. Just because you are working from home does not mean that you should work random hours. Or work all the time which I have been known to do…If you kind of work all the time, it isn’t dedicated or as focused. Trust me, it is more fun when you can really dedicate the time to it versus being kind of paying attention to work and the family or other distractions at the same time. This is a tough one for me but the experts say that you should come in at a set time each day and then leave at a set time. I am laughing as I write that because that will definitely be a new discipline for me but I am willing to try! If you have a family, it might be a good idea to keep a sign on the door with your office hours so that everyone in the house knows that your work time is off-limits. That will also serve as a visual reminder for you to keep on working 😉
5. Stay connected! Working from home does not mean you have to be isolated. Sometimes people will say they don’t like to work from home because they feel lonely or they miss the friendly banter with people at the office. When we work from home, we need to work harder to create that. Coffee dates and phone calls or quick walks outside can make a big difference. Keeping in touch with your team on a regular basis can fulfill the personal touch we all need too. All of these things will also help you remember that you are not alone on the job and keep you motivated. There are so many advantages to working from home. I love it and truly can’t imagine having to work in an office anymore but if you are new to this, there are some adjustments to make. Whether you are new or not, I hope this article gave you some food for thought. For all of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week, happiest of times with your family. I am grateful for all of you and our community!