a day at the (home) office

More and more people are working out of their homes these days. Some have an actual room called “the office” while others convert a kitchen table to a desk for certain hours each day. Whatever your spatial situation, certain discipline is required to accomplish work while at home and to stop doing the work that is in such close proximity at the end of the day. Here are some helpful hints that have been useful for me.

* Know thyself. My cousin says her most productive hours are from 11pm until 2am. I prefer to be in dreamland during those hours. It suits me to work within the 9-6, M-F timeframe as much as possible. It helps me for the evening and weekend hours to have a different feel and expectation, sometimes sans computer. But, hey, if my cuz is writing a novel at midnight, I think that’s fantastic.

* Set a schedule for yourself as far in advance as possible and mark it in your calendar, no later than the night before a work day. It’s much easier to get going in the morning when your tasks and schedule for the day are outlined for you.

* One task/focus at a time! Multitasking actually slows and hinders productivity. Check out a past Bacana Notions blog here.

* Get dressed. I know it’s tempting and comfy to stay in PJs all day, but make it a special treat, not the norm.

* Don’t answer every phone call. If that person who’s calling doesn’t have to do with your particular task at hand, let that person leave you a message and call ’em back later. If you’re in the middle of a block of real-focus-needed time, I suggest silencing your phone completely.

* Set aside time before or after work to answer personal emails, to read favorite blogs, and to check facebook.

* Take a walk. Perhaps with your morning coffee before the work day begins? Perhaps during a lunch break? It is a great refresher.

* Put the work away. When the work day is over, close up shop. Transition into just-being-at-home time. Pour a glass of wine, make dinner, play music, watch Jeopardy, whatever floats your boat.

Please share your own helpful hints with all of us in the comments below!