Working from home is a worldwide trend that keeps on growing. The benefits are quite glaring – there is no problem when it comes to office space, it is easier to be relaxed while working and everything you need appears to be comfortably close – in your own private kitchen, bathroom, etc. However, one of the biggest problems with this is keeping a level of discipline needed to perform daily tasks as you do not have a boss around, looking over your shoulder. In order to achieve ultimate performance at your home office, you need to apply some basic dos and don’ts in home business.
Separate work area from home space
First, you need to establish some ground rules for yourself and your family members. A clearly defined separation line between your office and the rest of your household is a recipe for success. When you enter your office and work hours begin, you need to develop a firm association with the job that will simply “click” once you are over the threshold. In many ways, this will help you keep your sanity and lower the possibility for chronic frustration.
Once you finish with your daily batch of tasks, you should be able to exit the room and not look back until tomorrow. This is why it is crucial never to return to your office to “finish something up” after the family time begins. It might seem like a good idea to trim a bit of work for tomorrow, but trust us; it is much smarter to keep the two aspects clear-cut and separate.
Set a firm schedule
Schedules are an amazing ally when it comes to home business. Now let’s get one disclaimer out of the way – it does not have to be your run-of-the-mill 9 to 5 work schedule, you can (and should) tweak it and work around it, but once it is settled, stick to it as faithfully as you can and never break the rhythm.
There is a lot of useful advice online on how to stay productive while working from home, and some of it will point out you should not be rigid about the schedule. However, not respecting the schedule and modifying it too often is a “gateway” to further problems that can blur the lines between work and private life. Avoid it in spite of what advice argues.
Use the space to your advantage
Every inch of your office has to remind you of work. In order to achieve this, you need to throw out of the office room anything that does not belong there. There are a few basic elements you need – a comfortable chair, a desk, a computer and a lamp. This is, what you’d call, a “home business starter package”.
This is not where you home office equipment should end by any stretch of the imagination. First of all, you will probably need a file cabinet and a bookshelf. You can add a piece of art that will relax your eyes every now and then but absolutely do not bring in any additional paraphernalia that can distract you. For example, a mini hoop and a plastic ball are out of the question.
Keep your desk free of clutter and leave photographs of children and some sentimental reminders out of the office. You’d need them in the office away from home. Keep several notebooks, sticky notes, and pens at hand. If there is valuable documentation or expensive items that are strictly business related, buy a safe. In fact, considering you will probably have a lot of valuable equipment in your home office, installing an affordable and reliable alarm monitoring system should probably be on your checklist.
As with most things in life, working from home is successful when you apply reasonable self-control. With your daily tasks in check and your goals set straight, it becomes easy to put yourself in strictly business frame of mind even in the comfort of your household. With some basic dos and don’ts under your belt, you will walk the perfect balance between work and private life.