Home Office Productivity Tip: Eliminate Distractions

Eliminate Distractions For Improved Productivity

Working from a home office has its advantages. If the house is quiet, you might find it easier to make more progress in a shorter amount of time. But, if you aren’t careful, you may find that constant distractions crop up that suck away all your productive time and leave you feeling like you are working constantly and getting little accomplished.

When Setting Up Your Home Office

Remove yourself from distractions, rather than expecting the rest of the household to work around you. Life goes on, even when you have work that has a hard deadline.

Expecting other people (and animals) who share your home to tip-toe around and avoid your “office” in the middle of the kitchen table is unreasonable.

Find a quiet room (preferably with a door you can close) or at least a quiet, out-of-the-way corner to conduct business. Make it a rule that when your door is closed (or your desk light is on) that you are “at work” and cannot be disturbed. Don’t make exceptions for this rule — it should be a constant one.

Don’t Work During Times of Transition

If the kids are just coming in from school, or family members are making a morning dash for their own job, school or places to be, you should postpone work for that extra 15 minutes until they are gone and the dust settles.

Likewise, don’t try to work during meal-times or when your presence is expected at family activities. Schedule your work time so you aren’t sacrificing a personal/family life for a work life. You CAN have both… it just takes a little practice!

Cut Off The Home Phone

Unless you have made the mistake of giving out your home phone number to clients (shame on you!), you should unplug or silence the home phone when you are “at work” in your home office.

Use your cell phone to avoid being on the phone when the other line rings and screen calls to avoid getting pulled off a business project to talk to family members who think being at home makes you fair game and an apt audience for their latest dramas.

Keep The Things You Need Near

Whether you use a standard table or a full-fledged desk, find a way to keep your supplies close. The less you have to get up to find those items, the more you can get accomplished. So keep a stapler, tape, paperclips, pens, pencils, your professional stationery, envelopes, stamps, close at hand. You can use drawers, if you have them, or you can gather the less attractive items into a basket or wooden box on top of your workspace.

You don’t have to use a standard “filing cabinet” at your home office desk. You can substitute a basket (sized properly to hold the files in an upright position), a filing “cube”, or a two-drawer version made in wood that matches your decor. Keep only the current files and reference materials at fingertip access and archive the older files in a less convenient space in the home (think attic!) or at your main office.

Don’t Forget To Enjoy

Regardless of how you set up your home office, take time to appreciate the fact that you have a real estate career that affords you this level of flexibility… and enjoy an extra cup of coffee and a furry office mate if you have one curled up in your desk drawer!

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