|By Angella Luyk
When I first thought about a home office, I was excited. I was certain I was going to be very productive. I wouldn't have to get dressed every day unless I wanted to. I could come and go as I pleased. No one would look over my shoulder asking for pesky reports. Does this sound familiar?
In fact, in the beginning, my home office was less productive. I seemed distracted by everything, including my well-intentioned husband. He would come into my office and ask, "Where is my purple shirt?" I would jump at the chance to leave.
Since then, I've learned a few things that can help anyone working at home to be more productive.
First, you really do need to get up and get dressed in the morning. When you stay in your comfy pajamas, your mind thinks "vacation." You need to get in the mindset that you are going to work.
Second, set some rules. Have regular office hours and make sure you post them to let your family know that, during certain times, you are not to be disturbed. Even better, go a step further and close the door.
Cynthia Smith, an expert on time management, says, "Schedule yourself for three to four hours of work, then a half hour of play." During playtime, you can catch up with your husband or the laundry. You can even go outside and garden. Just remove yourself from the office. Give your mind a break.
Each morning, make a list of a few things you need to accomplish. You can tackle the easiest items first to build your confidence or the hardest ones to get them out of the way.
This list will give you direction and satisfaction when you start crossing off completed items.
Success in a home office does require discipline. But isn't success worth it?
Luyk is CEO of Midnight Janitorial Inc. She may be contacted through her company's website, midnightjanitorial.com.
This column is written by members of the Rochester Women's Network (rwn.org).