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How to Create a Productive Work-at-Home Schedule

How to Create a Productive Work-at-Home ScheduleWorking from home seems incredibly convenient for many people who are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs or taking a telecommuting position. However, home is also the place with all the possible distractions to derail your working schedule. Many people who start working from home have confessed that it took them a long time to create a productive work schedule and to stick to it.

The problem with working from home is that we all tend to relax too much and find excuses to take a break from our tasks to grab a snack from the fridge, watch the afternoon news report or simply chat with family members. It is “just a 5-minute break” but they tend to extend to 10 minutes, a quarter of an hour or even half an hour. Suddenly, it’s 6 o’clock in the evening and you haven’t done even half of the tasks on your schedule.

So, what is the magic formula that keeps people working from home productive and focused on their tasks? There is no magic formula, but self-discipline and dedication to finishing every project on time and without having to work extra hours. Here are some simple and actionable tips to help you create your own productive schedule:

1. Get Dressed For Work
Even if you simply go to the next room to start working, take the time to put on a shirt and business trousers and look presentable, as if you were going to office. It may not seem as a big deal, but it gets you in the mindset that you will be starting a working day.

By comparison, loitering in pajamas will make you feel more inclined to take breaks and lose time with various distractions. Plus, if a potential customer wants to have a quick video call with you, it will be quite awkward postponing that call for 10 minutes until you dress yourself properly.

2. Find Your Most Productive Times of the Day
Everyone has their own biorhythm – some of us are more productive early in the morning, others late at night. It is important to know when you are most productive so that you schedule the most important tasks of the day, which need all your focus, in that period.

As you work from home, you have the benefit of creating your own flexible schedule – you can start your work day at 6 am and finish it by early afternoon, or start later in the day and finish in the evening.

3. Keep a Daily Schedule Visibly Displayed in Your Home Office
Having a written or printed schedule of the tasks to do makes you more accountable than simply keeping them committed to memory. Once a task is completed, you can tick it off and by the end of the day look at the schedule which is fully dealt with.

Many entrepreneurs state that they did not really become fully productive until they had to confront that printed schedule with unfinished tasks on it at the end of the working day.

4. Get Out of the House
Yes, you work from home, but you do not (and should not) stay at home all day long. Soon, you will become bored and isolated from other people. Instead, take your laptop and go to your favorite café or eatery and work from there. You may meet other people like you, working from home, forge a friendship and help each other with useful tips on productivity and time management.

5. Leave Work behind at the End of the Day
As a popular song in the ‘80s stated “when the working day is done, girls just wanna have fun”. This should be your motto – once you have finished your daily tasks, shut the door to your home office and stop worrying or thinking about business issues. Relax, spend quality time with your family and recharge your batteries for a new busy day.

As you can see, none of these tips are difficult to follow through. You just need to be disciplined enough to do them every day, until they become second nature to you.

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Feng Shui Tips for Your Home Office

Feng Shui Tips for Your Home OfficeFeng shui originates from the Chinese belief that the entire world is a living body with vital energy (chi) running through it. In literal translation from Chinese, feng shui means “wind water”. These are two of the key elements which make up the entire world and which should be included in any room of a house decorated according to feng shui principles: water, wood, fire, metal and wind.

What Is the Purpose of Feng Shui Furnishing?
The reason for adopting the feng shui decorating and furnishing principles is to focus the chi, or the vital energy, inside your house. A house with a powerful chi is home to happy, healthy and prosperous people, who enjoy harmony in their family life and success in their business endeavors.

As a home-based business owner you certainly want to be successful in your work, so why shouldn’t you try embracing the feng shui principles? If nothing else, your house will look beautifully decorated and welcoming, and your office will be well organized to encourage productivity.

Here are the key feng shui principles for home offices.

1. Choose the Location of the Office Carefully
One of the principles of feng shui philosophy is to keep family life and business life as far apart as possible one from the other. The interference of the two weakens the chi and causes unhappiness and trouble in both aspects of your life.

This is why your home office should be as far as possible from the master bedroom. Leaving aside feng shui principles, it is a great idea to set up your office in a quiet corner of the house, away from distractions and noise.

2. Arrange Your Desk in the Commanding Position
In feng shui, the commanding or power position is the position in the room with the strongest concentration of chi and which favors your mind to be open to inspiration and focused on work to increase productivity.

The commanding position is one where you have both the door and the window in your line of vision. In this way, you command the exit and entrance of people, and you welcome natural light – a key element to life and prosperity. However, do not place your desk exactly under the window: all your chi energy will flow out into the open.

3. Arrange Symbols of the Key Elements in Strategic Areas
Feng shui decoration and furnishing is based on the bagua map which identifies areas with various significances: love and family, children, money and prosperity, success and productivity, etc.

For the home office, the strategic areas are:
⦁ The south which represents Fame and Reputation – in this area you should place items which symbolize fire, and avoid at all cost any image of water (such as a photo at the seaside)
⦁ The north representing Career – the feng shui elements are water and metal. A fish tank is a great symbol to place in this area;
⦁ The southeast representing Prosperity and Abundance – you should place representations of money as well as anything symbolizing wood. Avoid fire representations.

4. Avoid Overcrowding the Office
The chi energy is the strongest in rooms with plenty of space, natural light and air. Order and neatness focus the chi and allow it to pass through the entire space and bring its positive influence. Plus, a home office with minimal furnishing and decorations looks clean and allows you to focus on your work and keep your mind free of distractions.

5. Select the Adequate Color Palette
Colors have a powerful meaning in feng shui. They should be chosen carefully, depending on the function of the room (bedroom, kitchen, office). For the home office, the best colors are:
⦁ Green – signifies work potential and health. It fuels your energy in your work and keeps you motivated and in a positive mindset;
⦁ Yellow – stands for energy and life. A lively color, it maintains an optimist atmosphere, charged with creative energy;
⦁ Black – used sparsely as accent color, it enhances your sense of perception. Too much black will drain your vital energy.

As you can see, these principles of decorating and furnishing your home office make a lot of sense, even if you do not fully embrace the feng shui philosophy. You will still have a neat and clutter-free office where you can be productive and help your business grow.

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How to Create a Productive Work-at-Home Schedule

How to Create a Productive Work-at-Home ScheduleWorking from home seems incredibly convenient for many people who are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs or taking a telecommuting position. However, home is also the place with all the possible distractions to derail your working schedule. Many people who start working from home have confessed that it took them a long time to create a productive work schedule and to stick to it.

The problem with working from home is that we all tend to relax too much and find excuses to take a break from our tasks to grab a snack from the fridge, watch the afternoon news report or simply chat with family members. It is “just a 5-minute break” but they tend to extend to 10 minutes, a quarter of an hour or even half an hour. Suddenly, it’s 6 o’clock in the evening and you haven’t done even half of the tasks on your schedule.

So, what is the magic formula that keeps people working from home productive and focused on their tasks? There is no magic formula, but self-discipline and dedication to finishing every project on time and without having to work extra hours. Here are some simple and actionable tips to help you create your own productive schedule:

1. Get Dressed For Work
Even if you simply go to the next room to start working, take the time to put on a shirt and business trousers and look presentable, as if you were going to office. It may not seem as a big deal, but it gets you in the mindset that you will be starting a working day.

By comparison, loitering in pajamas will make you feel more inclined to take breaks and lose time with various distractions. Plus, if a potential customer wants to have a quick video call with you, it will be quite awkward postponing that call for 10 minutes until you dress yourself properly.

2. Find Your Most Productive Times of the Day
Everyone has their own biorhythm – some of us are more productive early in the morning, others late at night. It is important to know when you are most productive so that you schedule the most important tasks of the day, which need all your focus, in that period.

As you work from home, you have the benefit of creating your own flexible schedule – you can start your work day at 6 am and finish it by early afternoon, or start later in the day and finish in the evening.

3. Keep a Daily Schedule Visibly Displayed in Your Home Office
Having a written or printed schedule of the tasks to do makes you more accountable than simply keeping them committed to memory. Once a task is completed, you can tick it off and by the end of the day look at the schedule which is fully dealt with.

Many entrepreneurs state that they did not really become fully productive until they had to confront that printed schedule with unfinished tasks on it at the end of the working day.

4. Get Out of the House
Yes, you work from home, but you do not (and should not) stay at home all day long. Soon, you will become bored and isolated from other people. Instead, take your laptop and go to your favorite café or eatery and work from there. You may meet other people like you, working from home, forge a friendship and help each other with useful tips on productivity and time management.

5. Leave Work behind at the End of the Day
As a popular song in the ‘80s stated “when the working day is done, girls just wanna have fun”. This should be your motto – once you have finished your daily tasks, shut the door to your home office and stop worrying or thinking about business issues. Relax, spend quality time with your family and recharge your batteries for a new busy day.

As you can see, none of these tips are difficult to follow through. You just need to be disciplined enough to do them every day, until they become second nature to you.

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