For a few years I worked from home - I hated it, for several reasons, mostly because I felt lonely (I hadn't really discovered networking or a good business community to join) and craved being in a room with other people (amazing, that's why many start their own business in the first place!),
I was easily distracted and, latterly, my beautiful daughter came along and I either had to tend to her needs (after all, I wasn't actually doing anything all day, so my wife thought (still thinks!!!)) or I wanted to spend more time with her.
However, some people have more will power than me, so, here are some tips I have picked up to help you remain productive and sane.
- Define your space
Ideally, use a room that is dedicated to your work or will not have disturbances during your working hours. Using the dining table that become busy when the kids come home is not a solution. Also, having a room you can go to might help you think, and others, that you are going to/at work.
- Dress for work
It is very easy to get up and start working in your pajamas - this is a very bad idea! Go through a normal morning routine and dress for work. I do not suggest a suit (unless you like that sort of thing), but smart, as if you were going out. This will create a separate mindset, drawing a line between home and work
- Set your working hours
It is way to easy to work non stop for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, however, is it really necessary. Take advantage of missing commute, spend more time with family and friends.
- Get up and out regularly
Have tea breaks, go for a walk at lunchtime. Sitting at your desk (anywhere) for a long time is not healthy, reduces effectiveness and and could make you stir crazy. Changing the scenery can clear your mind, give you clarity or just make you feel better!
- Close the door
Assuming you are in a separate room, create a physical barrier to let others know you are busy. Leaving it open will invite other in and may tempt you out.
- Spend money on a good chair
See it as a tool for your business - your bum and back are going to be on it an awful lot, some make sure you get something comfortable.
- When your are finished, finish!
My greatest problem is that I finish work, have family time and then pop back for an hour or three. Sure sometimes this maybe necessary, but try to avoid this at all costs.
- Turn off the phone if you need to concentrate
Also switch of your PC, or at least social media and email!
- Keep your desk and general work area tidy
Another problem of mine, that I always fight with - A tidy workspace helps keep a tidy mind, which helps make your day more productive
- Set boundaries for your family & friends
You are working, not taking time off - make sure people know that during certain hours or if your door is closed you cannot be disturbed
If you have any more suggestions, let me know and I will update the list.