Small business owner. Freelance writer. Phone-line fortune teller. Home-made jam seller. Specialised, independent IT consultant. Online baby clothing store owner.

So many jobs involve working from home. All around the world, at this very moment, you can bet that there are thousands upon thousands of small-business owners, or independent freelancers, plying their trade from the comfort of their couch. But working from home has a number of associated risks. Confusing the site of concentration with your relaxing home environment can sometimes limit productivity, and prevent focus. Why work towards your next deadline when there’s vacuuming to do, or cupcakes to be baked?

In order to avoid slipping into a cycle of procrastination, there are a number of preventative steps that individuals can take. Taking these ideas into account, and acting on those that are most relevant, will ensure that workers-from-home have all cylinders firing.

Set yourself hours

Wherever possible, try to set yourself daily ‘start’ and ‘finish’ times. Also allocate about an hour for lunch and a breather. This sort of regimentation will help you to mimic the practices of a normal office, and will also aid you when it comes to liaising with those pesky people who do, in fact, work in offices. Try starting out with 9-5 (that’s 9 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon, nocturnal readers), and see how that works for you in terms of productivity and contacting external individuals and groups.

Clean desk spacehome-office-benjamin-law

Whatever you might need during the day – pens, highlighters, a humidifier – shouldn’t be too far away from your working position. Having said that, keeping a tightly-ordered desk space will help you to focus and avoid distraction, as attested to by successful freelance writer Benjamin Law. Keep the bare essentials on your desk, and place the other bits and piece elsewhere within your home office.

Bespoke office room

Without a specific space that you associate with the undertaking of work, you’ll find it pretty hard to concentrate.

There’s plenty of literature on how to set up a productive home office space, and interior design and furnishing packages in Sydney could help you in establishing exactly what you need. Given the predominance of freelancers, independents, and part-time students in the city, you can rest assured that interior designers in Sydney will have plenty of experience from previous clients regarding what works, and what doesn’t. You could be forgiven for thinking that the furnishings and general outfit of your home office aren’t that important. But on the contrary, firms such as Quattro Interiors Studio implemented tried and tested formulae so as to differentiate your office – and its mood – from the rest of your domestic abode.

Wear pants

This might seem obvious; it might seem trivial. But by dressing professionally, individuals can help to ensure a professional attitude and ongoing motivation. Benjamin Law agrees: “even though I don’t have colleagues, I feel it’s the decent thing to do”.

Put it this way; you’re less likely to wind up lying on the couch, eating ice cream at midday if you’re wearing carefully-ironed trousers, than if you’re still in last night’s pyjamas.

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