Anyone who has worked in Corporate America knows the importance of office efficiency. This efficiency should carry to the home office. This means treat your home office like a corporate office: minimal distractions (e.g. no playpens, no pinball machines, no dogs)
You have the luxury of working from home. This makes it especially important that you develop work boundaries and limit distractions while in the home office. To say make “boundaries and limit distractions” is the easy part, execution is difficult. Just like everything in business, this takes time and a conscious effort on your part to make it work luxury chair.
Personally, I know how difficult home office efficiency can be. These three tricks have worked for me:
1. Set Hours. Set reasonable work hours for yourself and tell people about them. Successful individuals set hours and stick to them. But, more importantly, tell family and friends what the hours are. That way, your mother is less inclined to call them at 10:30am asking how your day is. There will be times when you will be required to work late but, just like every office employee, set hours when you focus solely on work.
2. Organize. Create a “to do” list, file papers, and organize your calendar each day. This sounds simple, but it helps. It allows you to set goals to reach throughout the day. On some days you will add more to the list than you remove but continue to check as many items off the list each day as possible.
3. Avoid email, telephone, and instant message distractions – unless they come from clients. When working from your home office you have no one to keep you on task so you allow yourself a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to chatting and distractions. Set a time (for example every hour) when you check your email, return phone calls, or instant messages.