How to make working from home work

More often, it seems entrepreneurs and small business owners are falling back on the home office. It is their base of operations, their command center, but it’s still where you call home. Having home life and work life butting against each other can be a difficult adjustment. The sink is full, the lawn needs to be mowed, vacuuming needs to be done.

Here are some helpful tips on adjusting to the home office:

1. Give yourself structure

Segment out your day in a way that makes sense to you. Make sure you know when all your meetings are, when you have to be on a call and make sure those times are set aside for those activities. Then, over the course of the day, make sure you know when you’re working and when you aren’t. Make sure your office is set up in a room with a door that you can close. If people bugging you is a possibility, make up a Do Not Disturb sign. It might feel strange doing that at home, but it could offer you the peace and quiet you need to do your job.

2. Use the amenities of home

Just because you’re working doesn’t mean you should lose sight of the fact that you have you’re whole home right in front of you. Take a lunch break and watch something on Netflix. Turn up your stereo. Buy that yogurt that your coworkers usually steal. Make an individual cup of coffee because you don’t have to make one for the whole office. When you’re working from home, hours can be flexible. Just don’t lose your sense of structure.

3. Leave the house

Some of the appeal of an office is seeing different people and talking around the water cooler. You have a chance to break away from the usual. When you work from home, you fall into the same patterns. If you start to feel overwhelmed or stuck, find a coffee shop with WiFi or somewhere with the same resources you have at home. Spending three hours working at the library may be all you need to knock you out of a funk.

4. Get dressed

One of the big draws of working from home is staying in your pajamas all day. While one or two days like this might work, you’re much more productive if you take a shower and put on some real clothes. The habit of getting ready for the day can jump start your creativity.

Do you have any tips for working from home? What works and what doesn’t? Share your thoughts below.


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Posted on December 10, 2012, in Biz Tips, Entrepreneur, Internet, Market Trends, Small Business and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Working at home is good, but it can lower your marketing ideas. With that reason, you must stay focused. Trust me I know!

  2. Good reminders. I find that I need extra discipline when working from home. Use your calendar like it’s the boss. If you put it on the calendar at a certain time you MUST get it done. It’s too easy to just say “Ah, I’ll do that later or tomorrow”. Plan your day right down to the hour, including budgeting for breaks. I like the “My Tomatoes” plan of 25 minutes of focused work and 5 minutes of walking away from the computer. So I plan my day in 30-minute increments.

  3. #5 Get in some exercise: The physical and mental benefits of a fitness routine pay massive dividends. Just a 30 minute routine a day releases enough hormones into the blood stream to combat depression. Just 15 minutes a day, decreases your chances of diabetes by 20%, 45 minutes to 1.5 hours a day can trim your waistline and keep you fit for your next TV interview! Plus, you can read all the latest business magazines (uninterrupted) while spinning away. Or, catch up on the news/TV across the usual 9 channels on display in front of the treadmills. Got an iPod? Catch up on all the latest Podcasts while blasting away a few hundred calories (or that last business dinner) on the rowing machine. With home-office often linked to intensive, stationary desk work … some active, exercise time is essential to keeping you focused and fit!

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