Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How to Work From Home

If you have a home-based business or job, and you're lucky, you have an office with a door. This prevents distractions and interruptions such as small children yelling for you, the sound of the television, and having 'stuff' piled on important work papers.

But most of us have to deal with just a desk area, open to the rest of the living room or other area in our house. We have to manage the paperwork, filing, and other work-related supplies in a spot exposed to general living space. This creates an organization challenge, as well as making time and task management tricky.

Since I have small kids, I like to do work when they are not under foot -- early in the morning or when they are engaged in a video or when my husband is entertaining them. I save tasks that require a lot of attention and concentration for those times, and do the other maintenance tasks (i.e. checking email, opening mail, etc.) throughout the course of the day to keep up.

Set your boundaries and stick to a schedule. If everyone knows when you are in work mode, your family will adjust more easily to it. They are less likely to bother you if they see you 'assume the position' at your desk or working.

I also do any tasks that can be done in another room, such as returning phone calls to clients, somewhere besides my desk area. This ensures that I can have a quiet uninterrupted conversation if the kids are in the living room. I have learned to be flexible but at the same time, keeping all my work supplies, files and computer in one place.