For many people, working from home is the best way to earn a steady income. However, working at home can present a host of challenges, as many find that it can be difficult to be productive without the rules and structures of a regular office. However, with a little discipline, some strategic planning, and a bit of organization, anyone can work effectively at home.
Here are 7 tips on how to be more productive while working from home.
Designate an area in your home as your official workspace
There's no need to build a separate room for your home office as any quiet nook with sufficient lighting, ventilation, and power outlets will suffice. Never work in the bedroom or in front of the TV, as the temptation to lounge around or procrastinate will be greater than when working in a home office setup.
Have everything you need within reach
Keep office supplies, papers, laptop chargers and the like within reach in your home workspace. If your things are all over the house and you need to get up frequently to retrieve them, you might get distracted by tasks that need to be done in your home while you're making your rounds.
The same goes for beverages. For instance, if you love drinking coffee while working at home, consider having a separate coffee maker in your home office, along with mugs, teaspoons, and canisters of cream and sugar so you won't have to go to the kitchen to refresh your drink.
It can be tempting to spend a few more extra minutes in bed as you don't have to commute to work, but starting early can be beneficial for anyone who works from home. It is especially advisable for parents to do this, as kids can create a huge distraction while working. Take advantage of the time that your kids are at school to focus on the most important and difficult tasks so you won't be running out of steam and willpower later on in the day.
Make a to-do list
People who work from home should use a planner or calendar to make to-do lists. These lists will keep you on track on the things that need to be done, and moreover, ticking off a completed task can be very rewarding.
Take a break
Office workers don't work for eight hours straight--they get lunch and coffee breaks. The same should apply to people who work at home. It is important to take a short break from working to clear your mind and recharge, so step away from your desk to eat a healthy lunch or a quick snack.
Resist the urge to check social media while working
Studies show that people who work without supervision usually spend more than an hour on social media sites, and those who work in an office spend an average of about an hour on the same websites. Commit to being productive and check on your Facebook or Twitter accounts after your work is done.
Make sure that your equipment, phone lines, and Internet connection are working well
Nothing is more frustrating to a person who works from home than a slow Internet connection, a faulty printer, and the like. During the weekend, take stock of everything that you need while working and see if anything needs to get fixed, upgraded or replaced.
For more, check out Jobs & Hire's report on ways to earn passive income using the Internet.