Random Inspirations

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How to Work From Home Effectively: 5 Quick Tips

on October 7, 2013

It’s official: I’ve been working from home for practically a month now, and it’s been, in a word, ahhhh-mazing!

During my six year stint as a pharmacist, I had to be physically at work. This had some advantages: Work never came home with me, and if something bothered me, I could “leave it at work.” Working from a set location had notable disadvantages, too: The schedule was too rigid for my tastes, and there were some (okay, many) days when I just didn’t want to get up, get ready, and drive to work.

Working from home is awesome because it’s so flexible. For writers, it allows us to vary our writing routines according to our moods, which enhances creativity and wards off boredom and writer’s block. However, all that flexibility can be a double-edged sword. It’s super easy to become distracted by housework, or take two-hour lunch breaks.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned so much about working from home productively. Here are 5 quick tips to jump-start your Monday, especially if it involves working from home!

  1. Set daily and weekly goals. It’s especially important to write them down, since it makes them more real. And, as always, make sure they’re SMART, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
  2. Monitor your progress. This is where checklists come in handy. Review what you’ve accomplished daily. Celebrate what you’ve achieved, and you’ll be driven to push yourself even further.
  3. Keep distractions to a minimum. Check your email and other forms of social media at set intervals, and limit personal phone calls. It’s incredible how those little distractions can add up to a lot of time.
  4. Prioritize. Many people who work from home take care of errands and home chores as well, and it’s super easy to let these trivialities take over the work day. I recommend spacing them out over the week. I started doing that and found that I still accomplished all the home tasks I set out to do, but they didn’t take huuuge chunks of time away from work.
  5. Set up an office. It’s much easier to focus if you’re sitting at a desk in a cushy office chair. It feels more official somehow. However, don’t be afraid to work in other areas of the house, or in other locations entirely. Changing location can be key for creativity.
My new home office.

My new home office.

The biggest challenge of working from home is that you can’t escape work — literally. But the good news is,  these tips will make you waaay more productive, so you won’t even want to!

One response to “How to Work From Home Effectively: 5 Quick Tips

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