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If you’ve worked from home for longer than a few weeks you know it comes with positives and negatives. Eliminating your daily commute, access to your kitchen, a flexible schedule, and the occasional mid-week lunch date are totally fantastic. But it’s not all fun and games. It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline to sit down and log a 6 – 7 hour work day, every day.
The ability to throw a load of laundry before the start of the day turns into a few hours of folding, and they you have to put it away, and next thing you know you’re taking a quick nap, and then the day is over. This slippery slope was one of my motivations to move my office out of the house. I worked from home for ten years, so it was time to move on. But, despite the distractions, the flexibility was one of the reasons I was able to build my businesses while my kids were little.
I’ve learned a few tips along the way that helped me stay productive, like writing down the three items I MUST accomplish each day, turning off email notifications when I was trying to get through a tedious task, not eating lunch at my desk, and setting regular office hours.
Perhaps the most useful daily practice was getting up, taking a shower, and getting dressed for the day. Genius, right? One would think this would be obvious, but not when you work from home. It’s too easy to roll into your office in your pajamas and realize at 5 pm you never changed. There were days I would work out in the morning, and not even think to shower until mid afternoon – gross, but true. Once I got into the habit of getting dressed, my day felt more organized.