I am certain I am not alone in being distracted at home; therefore, I came up with a list of home productivity rules. Whether you work at home full-time or just occasionally, the same rules apply.
- Set a daily work schedule. On a typical day, I get up at 8:00am and work until 6:00pm. It is easy to sleep in and work late when there is no one giving you a set time. Give yourself breaks throughout the day and take time to have lunch.
- Write a list of tasks for the day the night before. I always keep a running to-do list, but also keep a list for what I would like to accomplish in a particular day. It helps me stay on track and focused.
- Purchase and maintain office supplies. Treat your home office as a business, in a business it is important to be efficient and have all the materials and supplies in stock. Have you ever run out of ink for your printer, then have to take extra time to run to the store to buy more ink? It is not only very frustrating, but also very inefficient.
- Turn off the TV. This is a big rule for me. I am sure some will disagree, but having the TV on can be very distracting. You may turn it on just for background noise and later find yourself losing 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there from being enthralled in a program. Listening to music is a better option.
- Get dressed in the morning. This seems very silly to say especially because I love staying in my pajamas, but there is a psychological reaction to taking a shower and getting dressed in the morning. What you wear also has an impact on your mood and how you feel. If you want to have fun with it, dress up in business casual attire to work from home. I would be curious to find out if it results in more productivity.