Monday, May 25, 2009

10 Ways To Stay Organized Working At Home

Working from home
can be a hugely rewarding and liberating lifestyle choice. Many people in recent years have taken to creating a greater balance between work and their family life. As a result working from home has become a viable option for many people.

This has been especially embraced by stay at home mums who enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working from home and being close to their children. While working from home has many advantages you must also ensure that you are organized to make the most of your home business.

While the idea of not having to get dressed each morning and avoiding the hazardous peak hour traffic is great the stark reality is many who choose to work from home encounter many distractions and comforts that can drastically reduce their efficiency and productivity.

Here are some ideas to help you make working from home more enjoyable and productive.

1. Create a workspace that you can be happy to work in. After all you are going to spend countless hours at your desk working you might as well create a comfortable work situation for yourself. Ideally this would mean setting aside a designated work area which is blocked off from the rest of your house. If you have a spare bedroom you can convert to a home office that would be even better otherwise buy yourself some partitions which are inexpensive so that you can create a feel that there is a work area and a home area. This will help you to get into work mode that much quicker and will also ensure that you have less distractions.

2. Choose your hours. While working from home can afford you greater flexibility to work the hours that you like and will even enable you to work around your other commitments like children you still need to get a schedule. By creating a schedule you will at least know when you are in work mode and when you are in family mode. If you start to blur the lines you may find that you never afford the opportunity to switch off from work which you otherwise would have been able had you been working in a 9 to 5 office situation. You can simply allocate certain hours in the day that you set aside for work and you can set aside certain hours for your kids and family for instance when they get home from school or nap time. This way you will be focused on your work without distractions and will enable you to enjoy your family time without any guilt.

3. Get professional. While you don't necessarily have to get dressed into work clothes every morning unless you are meeting clients that day you still need to get professional. Consider installing a second line to your home designated for work so that you can separate your personal and business calls. This goes for all your other forms of communication. Just because you are working from home doesn't mean you can't try to look professional.

4. Get out and network. Working from home can feel a bit isolated and lonely sometimes. It is imperative that you get out there and meet other like minded people so that you don't feel like you are struggling alone. There are many great networking organizations that cater to work at home business people. You can also consider joining your industry associations and other business networking functions to grow your network and to keep up to date with what is happening in your industry. Being constantly challenged and inspired is a great way to create that spark into your business day and will enable you to get the most out of your home business.

5. Self discipline is the key. Working from home may likely mean that you no longer have a boss to report to so you are the boss of your time. You need therefore to maintain a certain level of self discipline because no one else is going to do it for you. Set yourself targets that you want to achieve either daily or weekly so that you can give yourself some accountability and also direction for your work days.

Terence Young



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