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Create a successful home office situation
Distractions are everywhere! In today’s world, a simple ding on our phone can take our minds away from even the most productive work meeting. Have you ever started a project only to be interrupted by a text message or a social media alert?
The distractions are even greater when your office resides inside of your home. It’s easy to see projects at every turn; the trash needs to be taken out, the plants watered, the cat fed, a kid needs to go to dance practice, and the list continues. How do we focus on the tasks for each day without turning on the TV or getting sucked into social media?
These three simple tips do work. I’ve used these methods during my old TV days (newsrooms are full of distractions!), and now, working from home while my kids run throughout the house.
Before you end your day, write out a must do list for the following day. Start with the items that can’t be overlooked, followed by goals for the week. Writing a list the night before can jump start your morning! Be sure to include the tasks at hand for your day, too (i.e. pick up kids, go to the post office) and work those into your to do list.
Anyone who owns their own business knows regular 8:00-5:00 hours are simply a myth. We have both the luxury and misfortune of setting our own schedule. Unfortunately, that often means working late nights or very early mornings. A routine can help you focus each day on the tasks at hand and help you avoid late night work hours. Set your schedule and stick with it.
Treat Your Home Like an Office
When 8:00 a.m. hits, the official workday begins. I try very hard to treat the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. like normal business hours. This means avoiding anything that would be a distraction during downtime like non-work related social media, television, impromptu play dates or shopping trips. Often, friends will call for a middle-of-the-day coffee date as they know I set my own schedule.
This seems like a great idea! But at 11:00 p.m., when I’m working on a project that wasn’t finished because of that coffee date, reality hits.
I also avoid housework or any home projects (this is easy for me) during my set work hours and simply focus on my list. Home is your business during the hours you allocate. Treat it as such and it makes your down time that much sweeter.
While these tips are beneficial, it’s also best to remember how incredible it is to work from home. Our hours and schedules are very flexible and overhead is low. It’s easy to meet clients at your favorite coffee shop or their place of business. Technology allows those of us in this work-from-home industry, the freedom to work when and wherever we need. And for me, that’s much better than going to an office each day.If you can stick to a schedule and avoid distractions, working from home might be the perfect transition for you!
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