Friday, May 29, 2015

Discipline When Working from Home

Woman working from fully outfitted home office
Working from home can be very rewarding...if you are disciplined.
Working from home is not for everyone. Whether you have family around during the time you’re working or not matters little. The real focus is on you. As I’ve learned building virtual teams who also work from home, working from home is not for everyone! You need self-discipline and an innate ability to focus and reduce/ignore distractions.

My strategies for focusing are:
  • I work preset hours every day, unless I have prior documented plans. (The same way I’d need to explain to employees or a boss that I would be gone for awhile.)
  • I have a regular routine that kicks off my day, the Wall Street Journal and coffee. I then check Yahoo and Bing news. This way, I avoid surfing the Internet for news and updates during the work day.
  • I go into the office. If you don’t have a separate room with a door that’s an office, you can designate an area and always use that area to work, except when you need a break.
  • I schedule meetings with customers and potential partners, attend business association meetings, training and other events. This gets me out of my home office. If I sit at my computer or on the phone all day, every day each week with little work-related human interaction, I go a little nuts. If for some reason I have no or few outside meetings, I’ll grab a few hours at the local Starbucks where a lot of other business people congregate.
  • I make a to do list first thing each morning (or the night before) and keep a deliverables calendar. Seeing things in writing helps me keep myself accountable.
  • I sometimes go work out in the middle of the day or go take a walk. This is what I did when I worked from an office. I consider myself an athlete so the physical activity clears my head and helps me refocus and continue being productive the rest of the day.

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