March 18, 2013

8 Tips for a Productive Home Office

When working from home, having a ‘tude counts! To be productive, cultivate the right attitude and discipline towards your work.

It is easy to get distracted at home.  The dog barks to go out.  They dryer cycle bings.  A neighbor stops by to chat. You think about the dirty dishes.  You get lost on the internet following random trails.

Nobody is looking over your shoulder so why not see what’s posted on facebook?  An email arrived?  Better open it now.  You missed an episode of your favorite TV show?  Let’s watch it on Hulu.

Before you know it, the day is gone and you’ve accomplished nothing.  Trust me, I’ve been there.

You need to behave in your home office as you would behave in a corporate environment.  Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  Let your family and neighbors know you have office hours and stick to them.

2.  Turn off the audible alert on your email software.  Even better, don’t open email when you turn on the computer.

3.  Set aside specific times of day for phone calls and answering email

4.  Before you go online, stop and think about the specific piece of information or product you are looking for and stay focussed

5.  Pretend you have a supervisor walking by.  You wouldn’t be cruising YouTube for funny cat videos, would you?

6.  Pretend you have to drive 30 minutes to get to your office.  You wouldn’t just pop home to start a load of laundry.

7.  Use To Do lists and when you feel yourself drifting off, go back to the list and see if there is some action you can take to move a project along

8.  Know the difference between urgent and important and prioritize accordingly

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bob November 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm

This great advice.

My biggest challenge is not allowing my work projects to take over my personal time. I recently started a photography business, and dedicated one room of my home for equipment storage. That room also doubles as a home studio. That was the easy part.

Time management remains a challenge. After marketing and shooting all day, post production tasks are labor intensive and I find myself editing into the wee hours of the morning. This is too easy when I don’t have to drive to the office and can work from anywhere. Owning your own business can sometimes mean office hours never end.

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