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3 secrets to staying productive in your home office

3 secrets to staying productive in your home office

Separating household chores from professional responsibilities can be difficult when you work from home. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help keep you on task. Here are three secrets to staying productive in your home office that really work.

Working from home offers several advantages: it's convenient, there are no endless interruptions from coworkers and the commute is a breeze! However, working from a home office also presents its own unique challenges if you want to remain productive: it requires that you draw a line between your work and personal life and focus intensely on your job responsibilities.

1. Eliminate distractions

Plenty of distractions exist in a home office: your home phone rings, the dog needs to be let out, or a neighbor stops by to say hello. Eliminating distractions is the key to maximizing your productivity.


  • Do your work in your office. Don't tote your laptop to the kitchen table or sofa (which can increase your risk of distractions).
  • Don't answer the house phone; doorbell or personal text messages unless you're responding to an urgent matter.
  • Keep the office door closed and work in quiet if any family members are at home.

If you worked in an office, you wouldn't (or couldn't) do most of these things. Why do them in your home office?


2. Stay offline

Surfing the web is probably a distraction in any office, but it can be particularly tempting when you're in the comfort of your home.

  • A quick visit to your favorite website can result in minutes, if not hours, of lost productivity, especially since one website often always leads to another.

If you have trouble staying off the Internet, several productivity apps and tools can help.

  • Applications can be installed onto your computer that allow you to work in only one program at a time and hide the web browser in the background.

You can also set your own rules to boost productivity. For example:


  • You could decide to work for 50 minutes and then allow yourself 10 minutes at the end of each hour to check email or the web.
  • You can even install a timer app on your computer to track your productivity. There are several that record how active your keyboard is over the course of a day and when it goes to sleep – an indicator of inactivity.

3. Forget household tasks

You're sitting in your home office and remember that you forgot to make the bed this morning. Perhaps you decide to quickly do the dishes, which leads to a full cleaning of the kitchen on your lunch break. Although it's hard to ignore that stack of unpaid bills on your desk, avoid taking care of household tasks when you're working from home.

  • Succumbing to distractions, such as housework, can be a productivity buster. The result? Your workday will end without much to show for it.
  • Stay on task, just as you would if you were at an office, and complete household chores when your workday ends.

It's relatively easy to make the most of your work-from-home opportunity by treating your home office as a productive and distraction-free zone. If you stay focused, you'll finish each work day with a sense of accomplishment.




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