A growing number of Americans, approximately 30 million, are working from home offices. For instance, most workers report working while they’re sick or working even longer hours than their standard work week from home, according to surveys by the Network.
How do you stay productive in your home office while not burning yourself out? Here are three pitfalls to avoid:
1. Working a continuous eight hours (or more) each day.
“Set limits or you’ll go crazy.” Designate several blocks of time during the day as your work hours. Schedule in 20 or 30 minute breaks to have a snack or get some exercise. “Put your breaks into your Outlook Calendar so you don’t forget to take them.” If you find you’re working more hours than you had planned to, start tracking your hours so you can better discipline yourself.
2. Not showering or getting dressed in the morning.
You need to better define your work time by “starting the day as you would as if you were going into an office.” Fix yourself breakfast, make a pot of coffee and get dressed. Not only do these preparations put you in the right frame of mind for working, but when it is time to put on your pajamas at the end of a long day, you’ll be less tempted to do work.
3. Mixing work and personal communications.
You should not be handling personal calls and emails during the day, nor should you be handling business calls on off-hours, so make it easy on yourself and don’t mix the two together.
“Remember, just because you’re home all of the time doesn’t mean you should be conducting business all of the time. Give yourself a break, or you’ll go crazy.”
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