It’s easy to get the idea that working from home is easy, but those of us who have done this for a while know that distractions of cable TV, smart phones, Facebook, the neighbors’ dog barking and the UPS guy ringing your doorbell can make it difficult to stay focused while working from home.
Have a plan.
Put together a plan in the evenings of what you will work on the following day. Organizing your work day can help start you off in a productive mode. Having a goal of what you want to accomplish is also a good way to motivate you throughout the day.
Put some clothes on!
You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but for heaven’s sake, get up, take a shower and get dressed.
After all, how you dress has a direct impact on how you feel about yourself and how well you perform on the job. Not to mention that others may not take your business as seriously as you would like them to if you’re always wearing your Hello Kitty lounge pants when you run to the post office.
Give yourself a break.
Taking time away from your job is important because it helps rejuvenate our our energy and creativity. Solving problems can also become more difficult if you’re too close to your work, so take breaks throughout the day. You may be surprised when the answer to the problem you’ve been working on just “comes to you” when you give yourself a few moments to relax.
If you work at home alone, it may help to get out and socialize from time to time as well. Just getting out for a trip to your local coffee shop for a brief conversation can provide an emotional and intellectual boost for our brains. Sometimes it’s also a good idea to hash out your ideas with someone else. Hearing another person’s point of view, or just talking about your ideas our loud can often provide insight you had never thought of before.
Don’t forget your plan!
Remember that plan you made the night before? Check in periodically throughout the day and see how you’re doing. You may find that you have to re-prioritize your tasks as things change through the day, but having a plan in place can help make sure important tasks don’t become a distant memory.