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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Turn off the phone if you need to concentrate
    Also switch of your PC, or at least social media and email!
  9. 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
  10. 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.

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