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Only a few years ago, regular employees yearned to live the dream of working from home. Taking away the hours spent commuting and the dreary environment of the modern office, and life would be perfect!
As everyone knows, reality and fantasy don't usually overlap. Wondering why you're not being more productive working from home? Hint: You're doing it all wrong.
Get up, Get Dressed
Although it may be tempting to avoid shaving, applying makeup, brushing your teeth, etc., avoid the temptation. To stay productive, you have to put on your work attitude ... including your work clothes. Even though you're working from home, you're still working.
Keep a Schedule
In many ways, telecommuting is an enabler for people to indulge multi-tasking. It is, unfortunately, seen as a means to allow someone to work another job or to complete other chores around the house. The occasional chore is no problem. But when these tasks start to interfere with your actual work, you have a problem. A schedule will boost your efficiency because jumping from task to task slows you down and affects the quality of your work.
Filter out Distractions
At the office, most of the distractions are (hopefully) work related. But at home, you might have your iPod playing your favorite podcast. You might decide to take a few personal calls and peruse Twitter. The point is, distractions abound and no-one is there to shame you at home. You need to govern yourself and filter out distractions. This includes your family, by the way.
If Possible, Partition an OfficeHowever you choose to isolate yourself from time-sucking distractions and enablers of bad habits, it must be said that being in the right environment is a tremendous help in this area. If you are lucky enough to have a spare room, creating an office work environment will psychologically convince yourself at a sub-conscious level that you're not to fool around. Make an office space -- it works.
Remember, You're WorkingFinally, remember that you're at a job. People should just come out and admit it: telecommuting sounds nice because people are naturally lazy. From this perspective, telecommuting could actually be your worst enemy because it will make it that much easier to fall into bad habits! Switch your attitude and consider telecommuting a privilege that allows you to save time and transportation costs. Relax into your work, but remember -- you're still a professional and you have a job to do.
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