There are many perks to working at home. You have flexibility of managing your time. The commute is about 20 seconds. But sometimes all that freedom makes it hard to be productive. Here are a few tips on managing working at home.
1. Create a designated workspace.
Find a room or space to be your workspace. You're more likely to get things done if you're not sitting on the couch in front of the TV or lying in bed. Plus, it's a tax write-off if you use that space exclusively for working. If you can't dedicate an entire room for a home office, consider investing a good desk and chair. Keep the space clean functional, and organized. Maybe even get a low-maintenance plant to clean the air in your workspace.
2. Allot specific time for working.
Just like you would work specific time at a typical office, create a consistent work schedule. A perk for working at home is creating a schedule that works best for you. Be sure to set time to take lunch, even if it is migrating to the kitchen.
3. Get dressed and ready for your day.
Loungewear is loungewear for a reason. You don't have to wear a three-piece suit to your home office desk, but changing from pjs to clothes in the morning will help put you in the right mindset. Develop or keep your getting ready routine. If that means having a cup of coffee while you watch the early morning news show, so be it.
4. Make time to leave the house
Being stuck inside the house all day can make you stir crazy. So take time for a run, for lunch or a quick drive. Better yet, have an "off-site" day at a coffee shop or an open office where it's open to the self-employed. Try to interact with people regularly. If you spend all day at home working, maybe going out with friends that evening for dinner. Find balance.
5. Remind family and friends you are in fact working.
Sometimes, people assume that since you work from home, you are free to run errands, meet for lunch anytime and whole host of non-work activities. Firmly but gently remind friends and family you are in fact working between such and such hours.
6. Learn how to manage your time.
Managing your time is of the essence. Prioritizing tasks can be simplified by making to-do lists for the day, the week and for the month. Then blocking out time for specific tasks like paperwork, answering emails or working on projects will help you manage the to-do list. A goal list will help you think in terms of long run. If you're a procrastinator, creating time constraints might work best for being efficient.
7. Don't forget your quarterly taxes!
Self-employed or contract workers should file taxes quarterly so they won't be hit with a huge sum during tax season. Split your estimated taxes owed in to quarters and send it to the IRS. A good rule of thumb is a quarter of .90 percent of the previous year's taxes paid. If it is your first year of self-employment than, you can pay a lump sum at the end of year with out being fined.