Having a home office certainly has its advantages. But there are a lot of distractions, too… distractions that can torpedo your productivity. Think of all the wonderful things that are close by when you work at home. The kids… the television… the Internet… the refrigerator. It is very easy to get sidetracked.
“My home office is on the main floor,” says J.B, a real estate agent in Toronto. “I went into the kitchen to make myself a coffee and, before I realized it, I was putting away some dishes, wiping off the countertops, and flipping through the paper. A five minute coffee break turned into a half an hour!”
So how do you avoid the built-in distractions of a home office so that you can get your work done? Here are some tips worth considering:
- Keep office hours. If you plan to work from 1pm to 4pm in your home office, do not do anything else but work.
- Set the rules. Make sure everyone in the family understands that when you are working, you cannot be disturbed.
- Do not juggle. Avoid trying to make dinner and follow up on leads at the same time. Keep home stuff separate from work stuff.
- Be disciplined. Your house is filled with tempting diversions, especially when you have work to do. Just remember that the more productive you are in your home office, the more time you have for family, home, and hobbies later on.
- Stock up. Make sure you have plenty of supplies, such as forms, paper, printer ink cartridges, etc. Nothing kills home office productivity quite like running out of something obvious, like paperclips.
Takeaway Point. Always remember that the most important word in “home office” is office.