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The art of being successful at working from home

Anyone who has been working from home know how tough it can be to stay focused all the time. Today, you will get some valuable tips on what to do in order to get more done if you work at home.

These rules are ideal and the purpose is not to give you a bad conscience, but to help you get as close to the goals as possible and to be as effective as possible when working at home.

Work from home – tips:

1. First and foremost - be your own boss. You already know this, but make sure that you learn to separate work from your other chores. If you work at an office in town, you don't suddenly start washing your clothes to help others, do you. If your family think you can take care of the laundry because “you are home anyway”, you need to teach them that this is wrong. Your goals of the company are also your boss. Everything you do at work (even if you're working at home) needs to answer the question: “In what way will the things I'm doing now benefit my company?”Washing clothes won't help you achieve any goals (unless you're into dry-cleaning, of course).

2. Organize your time better. You know when you are most active and when you're really tired during the day and what tasks that suit your rhythm best. When you are most active, you should make all the sales calls and other activities that require your full attention. In the afternoon, you can work on updating your website or do other routine jobs.

3. Don't be a slob just because you work at home. Dress as if you were to meet a customer. Take a shower, freshen up - go to work.

4. A good way to make the transition from a “home-person” to a professional person is to start the day with a walk - you leave home, take a walk around the neighborhood and when you return home, you're now at work. It can be as simple as that.  Repeat the procedure at night – leave work, talk a walk and when you return you're home from work.

5. Avoid personal calls during work hours. A common problem for solo entrepreneurs is that friends and others often seem to think that it's OK to call and chat whenever they feel like it just because they themselves are bored. Teach everyone you know that there are limits - when you work, you don't want to be disturbed.

6. Organize your work area for the following working day. I usually place all my important Post It-notes with stuff I need to take care of first thing in the morning on the keyboard so I don't miss them. Leave your workplace neat and tidy - it will be much nicer to start working the next day.

7. Plan your next working day every evening. Answer the questions:
• What should be done by 5 pm. tomorrow?
• What's the most important task of the day?
• What can I do tomorrow to get one step closer to my goals?

8. Write down a weekly goal every Monday morning and a Monthly goal as well at the end of every month. Place the notes with your goals where you can see them so you will have something to strive for. Also write what you get as a reward if you reach the goals.

9. Find something to do away from home in your spare time if you don't already have a hobby. It's important to get away from the home environment and get a refreshing change of scenery. Start working out, for instance.

10. Close the office when you're done for the day. Yes, it's difficult to let go of work at times and it's not wrong to spend a few hours in the evening at work once in a while, but make sure that you don't get stuck at work and forget about everything else. It's easy to lose yourself and let work problems get stuck in your mind (see paragraph 9).
People talk so much about being washed-up just from working 10 hours a day in periods. That's not true. Occasionally you might need to work even more than that. The important thing is that you also have periods of time where you get to relax. I work out at the gym regularly to keep the stress at bay - it works great for me.

11. Do something really fun every day. Life is meaningless if it only consists of demands. What do you think is fun, uplifting and energizing to do? Do that for a while every day.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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