Beat The Home Office Blues With These 5 Productivity Tips

Working from a home office is a great way to create a flexible schedule, have more time for family and save money whether you're an employee or run your own business. But it can be easy to let distractions, temptations and inefficiency ruin your work schedule. How can you beat the dangers of trying to work from home? Here are 5 productivity tips for any home office. 

Separate Home and Business. Try to place the office in a less-trafficked area of your home and don't let personal furnishings or storage creep into the space. Let the family know that when you are in your office, you are working and it's not play time. Avoid unnecessary personal personal distractions like checking your phone, watching television or chatting with friends or family. 

Declutter Regularly. Keeping your work space productive includes physical productivity. This means keeping your area free of clutter, avoiding piles of documents and items stashed haphazardly around the space. Schedule a regular document shredding service so you don't spend valuable time (or avoid) shredding sensitive papers. Use proper storage equipment like filing cabinets, storage bins and bookshelves instead of storing things around the desk or on the floor. Set up a regular schedule for doing "spring cleaning" 2 or 3 times per year. Click here to learn more.

Get Dressed. While one perk about working from home is that you can work in whatever you feel like, that freedom can also lead to sloppy thinking and a lack of self-discipline. Instead of working in your pajamas and fuzzy slippers, treat your home office just like a regular office. While it's not necessary to wear a suit and tie, keeping some level of professionalism in your home office will lead to treating it more professionally overall. 

Set a Schedule. Just like dressing for the part will help you increase your professionalism, setting a regular schedule will do so as well. Work at the same time every day, schedule personal breaks and end at a prearranged time. This will help you stay motivated, keep you from trying to do too much and allow you to have a normal home life as well. 

Set Plans and Goals. Before you end your work day or before you begin the new one, take some time to write down a list of the things you need to accomplish that day as well as one or two things you'd like to get done, too. Sort them by priority and check items off your list as you go. Treat yourself with a little reward for meeting your goals.  

Having a home office that you treat like an office and keeping it free of unnecessary clutter will help you accomplish the most in your work day. And that will mean a happier worker and a happier family.