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Make Working from Home a Success

working from homeMany of us have started working from home and have begun to tackle the challenges presented by working where we live. It’s not uncommon to feel frustrated as you learn to navigate the difficulties of creating a work space at home, but it can be done! The following tips can increase your productivity and help you avoid burn out:

Designate an area that is ONLY for work.

Dedicate an area in your apartment to use as your work space. Working at the kitchen table is a recipe for disaster, inviting interruptions and forcing you to move your work materials every time you eat. Whether you set up a work space in a corner of your bedroom or a desk in the living room, devote a space to work to help you stay organized and focused.

Set some rules for those you live with.

Make sure you communicate your expectations and needs for work times clearly. Try setting up a write board on your office door or on the refrigerator that states your work hours and what you expect during that time.

Prepare for work as if you are going to the office.

A lot of people claim that working from home creates that feeling that they are always at work. Try getting ready as if you are going to the office even though you work at home. Shower and dress for work as normally would, make a lunch like you would when you leave for work instead of simply wandering into the kitchen when you get hungry, and plan what you’ll be doing in the office just as you would at the office.

Set and maintain a daily routine.

Schedule your day so that you can work during the most productive part of your day, when you have the least distractions. Sticking to a schedule improves your overall performance and helps those you live with know when you should not be disturbed. It’s also important start and stop work at the same time every day to avoid burn out.

working from your apartmentSchedule and take advantage of breaks.

Don’t expect that you’ll be able to completely ignore your dog or your children, and don’t let laundry interrupt your work. Instead, plan breaks in your day and use the full amount of time allotted for the break. Plan a ten minute break at the end of each hour to play with the dog or fold laundry, and take a complete hour for lunch AWAY from your desk or computer.

Create some atmosphere.

Most of us didn’t work in a silent office with no one else around before working at home. Working in your quiet apartment without the background of coworker activity can make it difficult to focus and stay productive. Turn on the TV or play music to create background noise.

Make your work space “off limits” outside of work hours.

Avoid eating meals at your desk or checking emails just before bed. At the end of your work day, put a sheet over your desk or close the door to your office to help you separate “work” from “home” and allow you to engage in your personal life.

Working from home can give you more time and improve your productivity if you know how to successfully set and maintain boundaries. Allow yourself the time to learn what works for you. You may be surprised by how much you can actually enjoy working where you live!


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