Working Effectively from Home

Written by Marc on September 3rd, 2008

One of the biggest rewards of owning your own business is that you can choose to work from home.  Not only does this solve some problems like having your children in daycare, but it also can come with its own share of problems.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of working from home is accountability.  Unlike a regular job where someone checks up on you to see if you are getting the work done, when you are working at home, there are many distractions such as the television that may be more appealing than working.

To work effectively from home requires discipline and the ability to make oneself accountable.  These are not easy tasks by any means, but if you follow the following tips, you will have greater success working at home.

  1. Set aside a portion of your home to be the office.  It can be a simple room, or a space in basement, it doesn’t really matter.  The point is that you have a place to "go" to work.
  2. Schedule a time each day that is dedicated to work.  Depending on your business, it can be regular work hours or late at night (in case of an online business), but set the schedule and stick to it.
  3. Plan what you are going to do during the time you have scheduled to work.  It can be helpful to create a list (even if you don’t like to make one) so that you can cross off those tasks that you do accomplish, or reschedule them for the next day.
  4. If you have children, get a babysitter or daycare as a large number of interruptions can impair your working ability.  This also includes shutting off the television (if you have one in the office) as your time that you have scheduled for work is for work only.
  5. Focus on the tasks at hand.  If this means that while you are working at the computer that you need to shutoff your instant messaging client, or work in total silence – do it.  You want to be as effective as you can while you are working.
  6. Take breaks.  Just like a regular job, you need a break from time to time to clear your mind, eat something or just get a breath of fresh air.  I usually like to take one every hour or so (I sit at the computer the whole time) to give my eyes and back a break, but do what works best for you.  Just make sure that you are working more than you are taking breaks – you still want to get some work done.

I know that this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a start.  The point is you need to be accountable for your time, get tasks completed and make sure that you are not working yourself to the bone.

Feel free to add your suggestions about how you work effectively from home below – if you have a great nugget of information, I would love to hear it.

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One Response to “Working Effectively from Home”

  1. This is a good article for anyone thinking of working from home. Many of our customers are work at home business owners and we get to hear a lot of feedback from them. Many of them comment on motivation and separating “home from work” as been the two biggest problems they have.

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