I researched a number of different articles from general tips, productivity tips and health related tips. Interesting enough.
They all gave similar tips. I will sum some of them up for you here.
Start The Day
One thing I read in many of the articles was to get up, shower, and get dressed as though you were going into an office job. This can have many effects on your mind. All are positive by the way and found in a report from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. This study discussed how wearing certain clothes made you feel. For example if you put on a doctor’s lab coat you felt very important. But when you put on painter’s overall’s you would feel low class. So clothes can play tricks on your mind.
Plus another point is that with today’s technology you never know when you will get a video conference call and you don’t want to be seen in your PJ ..or worse!!
Another point that was consistently brought up was to make a schedule and then stick to it. When you set a schedule also schedule in break times. For every hour you work you need 15 min of down time to recharge your brain!! Get out of the house at lease once in a day but more if you need.
When you have set a schedule don’t stray from your set time for anything. If friends should happen to stop by unannounced just simply explain that this is your work time and that you can see them after work. After all, they wouldn’t just show up at your office building away from home.
These are similar to setting a schedule in that you need to post your business hours so that everyone is clear about them.
One clever idea I read is to hang a homemade “stoplight” outside your work area so everyone will know what you are doing. In other words, a green light would mean it is safe to come in, a yellow light means you might be busy so knock first, wait for a response then proceed with caution. But a red light means you are too busy so DO NOT DISTURB. Even the kids can help you make this and they can help you come up with the meaning for each light to fit your needs. I really like this idea and the fact that it involves the entire family helps makes it is even better. Research has shown that when others are given ownership or participation, they are more willing to abide by the rules.
Another tip is don’t answer the door or your home phone during your business hours. By doing this you won’t have to tell your unannounced friends to come back later. They will just think you aren’t home when you don’t answer the door or your phone. After all if you were working at a brick and mortar place you would be doing the same thing.
Last point about business hours, don’t schedule a non-work related ie. doctor’s appointment during work hours unless it is during a lunch break. I don’t really understand this one because if you know you have a doctor appointment coming up you can schedule it in your time frame during the day without interruption. Just simply schedule it during a scheduled break.
Many of the articles I read stressed the importance of having your own work space.
Not, an “ok, I will just roll over from one side of the bed to the other and write on my lap top” kind of work space. But a work space or work area set aside ONLY for work. I work in this and I sleep in another spot and I eat in another spot. Everything has its own place, you don’t work, eat, sleep all in the same place. Yes in the same house but not in the same location capiche? I hope so.
Now that you know that you work space has to be set aside there are just a few things you need to have.
- Comfy office chair
PostIt are nice to write and organize memos. I have PostIt’s all over my notebook because I like the PostIt flags. These can also help you when you are brainstorming for new writing ideas or keywords.
A Network is useful because you will start to feel isolated. This will help you join different groups within your field of expertise.
The Cloud is a computer program where you can back up your files. This can be very useful if for some reason your lap top should break and you have to go to the local library then you have all your files available to you.
If you have any questions or need a hand, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the Best,