Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to Maximize your Productivity while Working at Home

From an outsider's perspective, working at home seems like an ideal situation. Little do they know that working at home requires intense motivation, self-discipline and the ability to avoid distractions.

If you want to maximize your productivity while working from home, there are several important things you need to do.

First and foremost, you need to set up a working space that won't allow for distractions to hinder your work. If you're lucky enough to have a spare room that isn't being used, consider turning that into your home office.

For me (and for the majority of freelancers I've talked to), I don't have the luxury of dedicating an entire room for my work space. Instead, I carved out a small corner of my bedroom for my desk, laptop and important paperwork.

Additionally, you're going to need some type of filing system to store financial records, important paperwork and other documents essential to your work.

I know that when I let my desk get cluttered, I'm less likely to turn out as much work as I could when I have an organized, clean space in which to work.

Not only will creating your own working space allow you to separate yourself from the rest of your home, it will also serve to minimize distractions. Avoiding distraction is essential to maximizing productivity.

To avoid falling prey to distractions, create a work schedule for yourself, just as you would have if you worked in a regular office environment. Tell friends and family members not to disturb you during these hours, and stick to your guns!

It might take some getting used to, especially if your friends and family are used to dropping in for impromptu visits. However, regardless of the fact you are working from home it's important to treat your work like you would a regular 9-5 job.

Eventually, people will start to respect your work schedule and know not to interrupt you.

The beauty of working from home is the ability to set your own hours, so be realistic when planning your work schedule. Come up with a do-able, realistic schedule and stick to it.

If you find yourself becoming controlled by the schedule you've set in place, change it! The object is to maximize productivity, not hinder it.

Don't let your work environment become a place you loathe rather than love!

If you have any additional tips to add, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your feedback.


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