Working from home can have its advantages and disadvantages, and the question I hear frequently is “How can i separate work life from home life when i work from home?” How can I increase work-from-home productivity? For myself, home life is great – I love being home and I made the decision a while back; “Why do I have to make the dreaded trip to work everyday when I can work from the comfort of my own house?”. I figured that I would save both time and money on the commute, I could get up when I wanted, have long lunches and more time with my family…the list of pros went on and on. I thought how could this be a bad idea right? Well, as soon as I did make the transition to working from home I realized that distractions at home were in plentiful supply.
This list is just a few distractions I dealt with within my first week..
My crazy toddler son – TV – eating – doing house work – going out to run errands – family obligations – planning vacations – sport – the list could go on forever…
A decision had to be made and I decided to make a plan and set up some guide lines to working at home in peace (and being able to focus by eliminating distractions of home life).
Set up a home office
As I’m not a millionaire, I live in a modest 3 bedroom unit – one bedroom for myself and my wife, a room for my son and a room that sat pretty much un-used..until now. This type of room is perfect to set up a home office as it has good light, a nice window for air flow and view…Even though the “view” is only of the unit block next door, it’s still something that makes you feel as though your not stuck in a high rise office building full of flouresent unnatural light. I decided to fit the room with a decent work desk with enough room for my laptop and plenty of desk top area draws etc. This made the room feel official and it was somewhere I could concentrate away from the rigours of home life and its distractions, but still have the feeling of freedom I wanted in a home office…all of which was very important to me..
Create a daily work schedule
Set yourself boundaries, and plan hours of work that suit your life style. Everyone is different, and so people’s routine will vary too – the important thing is you plan your daily tasks in a way that works for you. For example, I love to drop my son off at about 8am to daycare, this is special to me and it gets my day started with a smile and a wave from my baby boy. Then, for me, its off to the gym for an hour of getting massive or trying to.. 😉 Once I’m back home it’s business time; I’m fresh, it’s still early and most people are at work by this time – perfect for working and an even greater time to communicate with clients or colleagues. Have a break for lunch, get out of the house, clear your head so that when you return to work you feel refreshed again. Working from home should be enjoyable and something you love…
I also think it important to stay focused on the job at hand, so keep the time that you’re working consistent and professional. It’s never a good look when talking to clients or potential clients and having your son/daughter running around your work space being crazy (as kids do), or your favorite movie or music blaring in the background – work is work and clients like to do business with people that give them quality information and people that pay attention to the task at hand. Solving problems for clients is what makes you valuable and they will keep in touch with you and recommend you to others if you can provide this service for them.
This to me is the most important; it’s why I decided to work from home. As much as I like to have a routine for the majority of the week, I also like to make those spontaneous decisions to drop everything and shoot out the door for a game of golf, a nice lunch, or a swim at the beach on a beautiful summers day. This is what makes life worth living, being able to work from home and at the same time providing for yourself and your family – and having a damn good time doing it.
In all, keep your business tidy and at the same time have fun with it. Remember that you chose to work from home to have flexibility so do just that – change it up make sure you enjoy every second of it and if you do I’m sure success will be exactly what you get…
As always, I’d love to hear your comments and feedback. Have a great day!