Working from home has its perks. Comfy clothes. No traffic. Having your office just the way you like it. No unexpected interruptions from annoying co-workers. It’s comfortable, enjoyable and can be a very effective way to work.

But how do you manage it effectively? How do you minimise the constant pull of domestic chores? Set clear boundaries between work and personal life? Stay motivated and avoid laying on the couch watching reality T.V?

Working from home can be very enjoyable, whether you’re self-employed, freelancing, telecommuting, studying or a stay at home Mum with a blog. You just need to find a way to stay productive and keep your sanity!

Here are some amazing tips I have discovered over the past couple of years that can really help.

Have a kick arse space. Create a dedicated inspirational workspace. If you are fortunate enough to have an office at home that’s brilliant. If you don’t, set aside a specific place exclusively for work. Ideally, it’s a good idea to have everything you need at your fingertips. Spending time looking for pens, laptop chargers or notes is waste of precious time. Sometimes it feels like a good idea to work from the comfort of your own bed. However, it’s not a good idea. Ever!

Let those around you know you’re working/study hours. Set clear definitive hours. Let those around you know that these hours are for working and nothing else. Too often people have a perception because you’re at home you’re available. Make personal appointments around your work hours. Only answer appropriate calls. Close your door and make the most of your time.

Stick with it even when it’s hard. It’s all too easy to get distracted even in your dedicated office space with set working hours. Social media has an amazing pull that can distract you when things are getting hard. Allocate a set amount of time for indulging in social media. Setting the alarm on your phone is a great way to let you know when enough is enough. If you use social media as research or inspiration for your business this is very important. Having a legitimate excuse can lead to many, many lost hours.

Get out of your P.J’s. Show up and show out. I love to get dressed every day. If you look good you feel good. Getting dressed makes you take the day more seriously. You’ll also be much less inclined to crawl back into bed for a quick nap.

Take breaks. Moderation is key. In a regular office environment, you would have breaks. Getting your morning coffee. Breaks between meetings. Working from home is no different. Put a load of washing on. Walk the dog. Water the garden. Meditate. You have the privilege of choice, take advantage of it. This includes getting out of there. We all need a change of scenery. Some human interaction. It can be nice to sit at a coffee shop and work for a little while. The hustle and bustle around you can make for a nice change every so often.

Plan your work. Set daily goals and tasks. Work hard, get the job done and hold yourself accountable.

Play music. This seems to be a very common practice among people who work from home. Playing music in the workplace isn’t common practice. Wearing headphones in the office certainly isn’t welcome. Being at home allows you to play music. Music can have an enormously positive effect on your productivity level. Find what music motivates you for different tasks and create playlists. Stick to those playlists for those tasks. It’s an excellent way to stay on track and enhance your productivity.

Be grateful for the opportunity. It is a privilege to work from home. It doesn’t work for everyone. For the right person, it can be very fulfilling. Life is what we make it. If working from home is something you do or wish to do in the future it can work very well. Being grateful for the opportunity, setting guidelines and embracing this way of working can be something that can change the way you see everything.

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