by bjgran
45 replies
Hi all:
I'm having all kinds of problems with distractions and I'd like to get ideas from the rest of you Warriors about where you do your best work.

I'm very slow and I believe it's because I work from home and can always think of something I "have" to do. This ranges from cleaning to baking brownies or doing laundry, and I just can't seem to resist the urge to quit working and "play."

One move I've made that seems good for me is to take my computer to my apartment complex's pool area. There's a fountain that drowns out other noises and right now the weather is cool.

BUT -- this is TEXAS, and it's going to become HOT soon - and I can't work in the extreme heat.

Also, after 3PM, I'm brain-dead. What do you guys do to perk up when you feel like taking a nap and abandoning work?

So - where do you manage to concentrate the most and get the most work done? I'd really love some ideas. Also, if you play music or work best in complete silence or ????

It will be fun and interesting to see your replies.
As always -- thanks so much.
Beverly G.
#work
  • Profile picture of the author ThisGuy
    Well, i have 3 kids at home and work from home so I know all about distractions. I have a 2 year old and twin 5 month olds. My wife is home also so of course I'm not in it alone but you better believe i have distractions.

    I've designed entire websites with a baby sitting on my lap. I've done SEO work while watching Yo Gabba Gabba. I've run some social media campaigns while holding a bottle.

    I think you just have to make that conscious decision to focus. If you want it bad enough, you can do it. I don't let these distractions stop me. Because if i do, these babies don't eat!

    As for the 3pm sleepies. Buy some Emerald Nuts - Dry Roasted Almonds. Sounds weird, but a handful of them will perk you up better than any red bull or coffee ever will. "TRY IT ... YOU'LL LIKE IT" - Song from Yo Gabba Gabba playing right now
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    • Profile picture of the author feodor24
      Well, that's a question of personal motivation, I guess. Each time I find myself being lazy or wanting to switch to some other activities, I make myself think of my life and how unsatisfied I am with it. There are alot of goals I want to achieve: move out from my country, speak english better, help my relatives to improve their lifes. I've seen alot of people living their lifes "as is" and I don't wannt be one of them. My dad passed away recently, it was a first loss in my life. After that I finally understood how precious each moment is.

      As for music, I highly recommend listening to some classic rock'n'roll while working. It works pretty well for me, actually. Whether I'm feeling tired or unmotivated, I put myself together immidiately and work like crazy. There are also some modern artists like Brian Setzer who play classic '50s/'60s songs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Read this as many times as necessary until it sinks in.

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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Originally Posted by bjgran View Post

    Also, after 3PM, I'm brain-dead. What do you guys do to perk up when you feel like taking a nap and abandoning work?
    Here's a few ideas which might help....

    The Mall - Find a mall with a good coffee shop, food court, or other area with free WiFi. The noise and activity is not a big distraction since it is not YOUR distraction. I find it inspiring to be around the readers I would like to read my content.

    McDonald's - Ok, so maybe this one isn't the best place, but it works in a pinch. The noise keeps you awake and alert, the coffee is strong, and the WiFi can be good.

    Barnes and Noble, or another book store with free WiFi. A little quieter, they usually have a snack bar, and you are surrounded by people, books, and magazines. A great place to be if your mind freezes up.

    Those are 3 of my favorites as alternative workplaces. I never liked the library very much. Somehow the lack of economic activity did not feel quite as inspiring, plus they don't serve me coffee.

    On the other side of this equation....I have a 7 month old and a 2 year old. Often my most productive times are from 11PM to 2AM. Everyone except me is asleep, and I MUST FOCUS, or I will be asleep, too.

    Your other alternative is to check around your city for an office building which leases small office spaces. Some cities have very inexpensive "cubby sized" offices. It might be a great get-away and focus space for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author SmartHealthShop
    it doesnt matter where you go, there are going to be distractions everywhere.

    it has to be scheduled time that is serious work time. 30 minutes or an hour at a time or whatever; it doesn't matter the amount of time or the location, it's scheduling time in every day at a consistent time so that it becomes routine.
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    • Profile picture of the author ksmusselman
      My husband and I share an office in our house. We were very fortunate that this house already had an office set up on the lower level - quiet too.

      We're both at home, although I'm in the office more often than he is because he takes care of the shopping and other stuff around the house while I'm in the office most of the day.

      As for distractions, yes, while we don't have kids, I can still get distracted by online games or sitting outside with a book instead of working. So like others mentioned, you have to make a conscious effort to work when you're in whatever location you call your office.

      And as others have said, you have to want it badly enough to go after it. I know I have to make my businesses work, more my bookmarks business than my transcription business, and if I let myself get distracted, neither of them are going to bring in enough money to pay the bills, let alone reinvest in the businesses.

      Good luck with whatever you figure out for yourself! Anyone who works from home has been or is in the same position you are now. You'll work it out.
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      • Profile picture of the author Diane S
        Beverly - I am like you - easily distracted. I moved my computer to a room with less distractions and farther away from the social areas of the house. I rely on coffee for the afternoon tiredness, plus a walk around the block! If it is too cold or rainy to walk, I vacuum the living room instead!


        Originally Posted by ksmusselman View Post

        I know I have to make my businesses work, more my bookmarks business than my transcription business...
        At first I thought you meant social bookmarking as a linkbuilding strategy. Now I see you mean REAL BOOKMARKS THAT YOU PUT IN A BOOK TO KEEP YOUR PLACE. I have been in the IM niche too long! :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author blur
    I get most of my IM stuff done during breaks at my job. Only because I know I have a time limit and I can't get anything done at home with a new baby.
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  • Profile picture of the author ben1ewis
    Really tough working at home. Always plenty of distractions.

    The only way I cope is to write a list that has a realistic amount of work for one day and as soon as that list is completed I'm free to play out!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Originally Posted by bjgran View Post


    Also, after 3PM, I'm brain-dead. What do you guys do to perk up when you feel like taking a nap and abandoning work?
    Here's my answer....structure your day so all work is done by 3PM.

    Now, when the crash hits, you can go crash without any regrets.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Tran
    I work from my home office mostly. My situation is that my oldest son is in college and my younger son is in high school. This means that I can work uninterrupted from 7:30 to 3:30.

    I don't have a TV in my office. I have a radio but I don't listen to it.

    I create a task sheet of "to-do's" in the morning. They are listed in order of:

    1) urgent+important
    2) important+not urgent
    3) urgent+not important
    4) planning

    I then add an estimated time block for getting each task done. Each time block is a multiple of 15 minutes.

    This gives me a quick tally of what I can realistically accomplish in one day.

    Working by yourself at home can be a bit lonely. I do have a team of workers who support my projects. So I have a daily conference call with them to check on progress and give directions.

    We also communicate using Yammer. It is a tool like Twitter but for business communications.

    I use Basecamp for project management.

    At the end of the day, I feel that I got in an honest day's work if I finish the tasks on my list. Sometimes I can't check them all off due to unplanned emergencies. So the non-urgent tasks get carried forward to the next day.

    I hope you can use a few of my work strategies.

    All the best for your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Barbara Brenner
      Originally Posted by Alex Tran View Post

      I work from my home office mostly. My situation is that my oldest son is in college and my younger son is in high school. This means that I can work uninterrupted from 7:30 to 3:30.

      I don't have a TV in my office. I have a radio but I don't listen to it.

      I create a task sheet of "to-do's" in the morning. They are listed in order of:

      1) urgent+important
      2) important+not urgent
      3) urgent+not important
      4) planning


      I then add an estimated time block for getting each task done. Each time block is a multiple of 15 minutes.

      This gives me a quick tally of what I can realistically accomplish in one day.

      Working by yourself at home can be a bit lonely. I do have a team of workers who support my projects. So I have a daily conference call with them to check on progress and give directions.

      We also communicate using Yammer. It is a tool like Twitter but for business communications.

      I use Basecamp for project management.

      At the end of the day, I feel that I got in an honest day's work if I finish the tasks on my list. Sometimes I can't check them all off due to unplanned emergencies. So the non-urgent tasks get carried forward to the next day.

      I hope you can use a few of my work strategies.

      All the best for your business.
      Aha! The Time Management Matrix -- Steven Covey.

      If I don't have a task list, I'm lost. I get distracted easily, particularly by email and forums . It's so easy to let BS get in the way of productive activity. I have a binder where I write down ideas and projects for the coming months, and when I don't have specific tasks I need to get done on schedule, I go exploring those ideas. Also, I get started quite early in the a.m. -- usually by 6:30 -- so I don't feel guilty if I quit at 3:00
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  • Profile picture of the author Charlotte Jay
    I have two kids under 5 at home full time with me. Needless to say I don't get much done during daylight hours.

    But saying that, if I have a pressing deadline, I have a pair of AudioTechnica headphones hat block every noise known to man. I put them on and turn up my music and my fingers fly. I find music to be very stimulating for my brain. Coffee helps too!
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    • Profile picture of the author ECMartin
      Got myself and my buddy an office a few months ago. One of the best investments ever
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  • I tend to find that I work better in the night so I may stay up until the early hours in the morning. I find that I'm less critical and fussy at night time and I'm more likely to stick with something.

    I also have a new puppy manages to keep distracting me! If I get a chance, I sit out side other than that - I'll put the laptop just about anywhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesGw
    I do my best work at work, surprisingly. With that said, try creating a plan and framework. If you manage to stick to that, you'll see how productive you can really be. Set a goal like 40-50 manual links a day and 1-3 pieces of content over a 5-hour day.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I use the local library a lot. It's quiet and almost distraction free. When I go there to write I don't sign on to the internet so I'm never tempted to check emails. Coffee shops and bookstores are good, too, but seem to be more distracting to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      I use the local library a lot. It's quiet and almost distraction free. When I go there to write I don't sign on to the internet so I'm never tempted to check emails. Coffee shops and bookstores are good, too, but seem to be more distracting to me.
      yes quiet is eery.

      I love to lock myself in the den and bit of Beethoven 5th and get to work.

      Music soothes even the savage beast so i hear. And this beast better get back to work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    The public library works well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author sirtom
    Originally Posted by bjgran View Post

    Hi all:
    I'm having all kinds of problems with distractions and I'd like to get ideas from the rest of you Warriors about where you do your best work.

    I'm very slow and I believe it's because I work from home and can always think of something I "have" to do. This ranges from cleaning to baking brownies or doing laundry, and I just can't seem to resist the urge to quit working and "play."

    One move I've made that seems good for me is to take my computer to my apartment complex's pool area. There's a fountain that drowns out other noises and right now the weather is cool.

    BUT -- this is TEXAS, and it's going to become HOT soon - and I can't work in the extreme heat.

    Also, after 3PM, I'm brain-dead. What do you guys do to perk up when you feel like taking a nap and abandoning work?

    So - where do you manage to concentrate the most and get the most work done? I'd really love some ideas. Also, if you play music or work best in complete silence or ????

    It will be fun and interesting to see your replies.
    As always -- thanks so much.
    Beverly G.
    I've become quite a night owl with marketing, because I know it's going to be quiet. I can go down into the basement chill area and knock out whatever I need to- videos or otherwise.

    I've just grown accustomed to it now, so my normal work time is from 11pm or 12am through 4:30-5am.

    I don't mind tho.. You need to do what will help you work, and when it's quiet and the middle of the night, my options are limited so I focus on the task at hand.

    -Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author EarnBig
    In the morning after 5 Arabic coffees my concentration goes ballistic, I can sometimes work in the office for 14 hours with a good caffeine charge - but it does have an effect on my sleep.. so I don't do it every day.

    If your easily distracted, try playing one of those looped beach sound CD's in the background - you may be surprised..
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    • Profile picture of the author Charlotte Jay
      Originally Posted by EarnBig View Post

      In the morning after 5 Arabic coffees my concentration goes ballistic, I can sometimes work in the office for 14 hours with a good caffeine charge - but it does have an effect on my sleep.. so I don't do it every day.

      If your easily distracted, try playing one of those looped beach sound CD's in the background - you may be surprised..
      5 Arabic coffees?! Good god. Do you crash after the caffeine is all out of your system? That is insane. I can't even imagine the amount of productivity you must have.

      Here's a cape, Super Internet Marketer...
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  • Profile picture of the author soft7
    I work from my home
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    • Profile picture of the author Chuck Avants
      Your apartment may have an area that is used for gatherings that you could use or the library is a good place for quiet.

      People work better at different times of the day. Although I am an early riser I do my best work late in the evening. Find your best time and work then.

      Oh and there are always distractions---consider working this as if you had a boss to report to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Theory5
    I find I do my best work in the university computer lab between classes while listen to music, or during class when I find the lecture boring. At my apartment, I tend to procrastinate. A LOT.
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  • Profile picture of the author dhanediesil
    Originally Posted by bjgran View Post

    Hi all:
    I'm having all kinds of problems with distractions and I'd like to get ideas from the rest of you Warriors about where you do your best work.

    I'm very slow and I believe it's because I work from home and can always think of something I "have" to do. This ranges from cleaning to baking brownies or doing laundry, and I just can't seem to resist the urge to quit working and "play."

    One move I've made that seems good for me is to take my computer to my apartment complex's pool area. There's a fountain that drowns out other noises and right now the weather is cool.

    BUT -- this is TEXAS, and it's going to become HOT soon - and I can't work in the extreme heat.

    Also, after 3PM, I'm brain-dead. What do you guys do to perk up when you feel like taking a nap and abandoning work?

    So - where do you manage to concentrate the most and get the most work done? I'd really love some ideas. Also, if you play music or work best in complete silence or ????

    It will be fun and interesting to see your replies.
    As always -- thanks so much.
    Beverly G.
    Beverly G,

    I do most of my work in the mornings. Like you, I seem to go brain dead in the afternoons.

    I'm pretty unique, so I enjoy going to Starbucks or Coffee Bean and getting most of my work done there. The simple stuff though (forum marketing, writing articles, etc.)

    For the more mind intensive things, I have a cozy little corner of my room with a table, chair, and bottle of water. From there I just get to work.

    One thing that works for me is to work in 30 minute chunks of time.

    For example, let's say I want to do some forum marketing...

    What I do is set my watch timer for 30 minutes, and focus all my attention on forum marketing.

    I cut EVERYTHING off and spend that full 30 minutes LOCKED into the task at hand.

    Since I started doing that, I've been 10x more productive.

    Boom!

    Hustle Time,
    D

    P.S. When you do work for home, and you do think of something else you want to do (not need to do) it's more than like a procrastination and perfectionism issue. The root cause of that procrastination and perfectionism could be deeply rooted in a lack of confidence on some level... Check out these video to get more insight:

    Perfectionism --
    Procrastination --
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    • Profile picture of the author James Clark
      Well, you didn't tell us whether you have kids, husband, family members that is distracting you. It sounds like you are doing this to yourself. Remember, you are the boss now.

      Also, what makes you think that all of us a stuck in front of the computer all day. Don't follow the crowd because the crowd is wrong. If you get sleepy then take a nap. If you want to run out to the supermarket then do it.

      You have all day to do this Internet Marketing stuff. I had a friend of mind in this business and he told be one day that he was exhausted. I asked him why?

      He said from reading all day. So, I ask him what was he reading? His reply was e-books on IM. You can't learn this stuff from reading. All you might be learning is some new words.

      You need to TEST stuff and see what works. Much like a recipe. I'm sure you can cook. (smile) If I give the best recipe for chicken soup that my grandmother taught me, you wouldn't make it the same way would you?

      You would season it to your taste correct? By the way, my chicken soup is so good it would make you want to slap your mamma (LOL)

      And I'm not going to make it public here today. But it has some hot peppers in it.(boom)

      In all seriousness, I work in chucks. 45 minutes at a time. I have a timer on my computer and I set it to go off after forty five minutes.

      Also, I have a journal. And before I turn off my computer I write down what I'm going to do the next day and how much time I going to spend on it.

      I have a bunch of hobbies. Golf is one of them. The Golf balls that I use are like $58.00 a dozen. On top of that, I have six grandchildren. So, I have to keep on working. I don't have time to read sales letter.
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    I make a point of getting up every few minutes. We have a panoramic mountain view here in California and the weather is always nice. It makes for a good day almost every day. It was not always like this...
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    • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
      It can be tough... I know it gets to be quite a challenge for me but I have a few tips.

      1. Try and create a workplace where you cannot see the rest of the house. Try and get as close to the "office" feeling as you can. It will help you stay focused.

      2. Make a to-do list with priorities listed so you get the most important things out of the way first.

      3. Get up and walk around every once and a while. I get up every 30-60 minutes just to stretch my legs. Every 1-2 hours I go walk out to refill my coffee or anything like that.

      4. Don't be afraid to take a nap. If I am tired at 3pm I take a nap at 3pm. That is why the to-do list is great. Get the most time sensitive and important things done before then and you are free to take a nap and get back to work. I normally lay down for around 20 minutes. Be sure not to sleep for more than two hours or it could seriously hurt your sleep schedule.

      I actually recently wrote an article about dealing with distractions for work at home moms. Some may apply so check it out. Here.
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  • Profile picture of the author bnwebm
    That's the one thing I do miss about having a brick and mortar office, so I made one of my extra rooms in my home an office. No TV, strictly work, computers, iPad, dry erase boards and a calendar. It helps to be in "work" mode when you enter a certain room that is customized for just that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Debra Barrow
    I work out of an office in my house, which is not too distracting when I close the door and concentrate. However, I do prepare most meals as my husband is home during the day because he works nights. Then there's the typical house chores that need to get done.

    The other thing is that I try to get my workouts in at some point during the day (not always the same time). Also, I take a short nap in the afternoon, to prepare myself for my "night shift".

    For the most part, I'm a night person and like working up until 2:00 or 3:00 am. It just seems more quiet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Seems you need to focus.

    Here's one thing I learned back in the days I was 15-16 and learning Radio DJ:

    I would write down everything I said on air, as soon as I shut my mouth. That way, I wouldn't repeat what I said 3 minutes earlier.

    You can do it writing down what you DID.

    Be creative, find something to help you FOCUS on what you need work on.

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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    One thing that really helps me is music. I normally go for instrumental music... I prefer Jazz but some people like Classical. It is calming, helps drown out the distractions, and studies show that these types of music actually help the brain develop and run properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ellen Sanford
    Try time blocking. Each day write up your goals for the day. Then rank them. What is the most important and most likely to make you money? Do them in order of that. Then decide how much time to concentrate on the task. Set the timer for that amount of time. Turn off your phone and make sure you will not have any other distractions. Try to take a quick 7 minute break in between tasks so you can get yourself water, go to the bathroom, etc. Then move on to the next task.
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  • Profile picture of the author Debra Barrow
    Time blocking. That's a good method. Usually, before I go to bed, I'll write down or get it into my head the tasks I want to complete the next day. Then pick out 1 or 2 things that I "absolutely must get done".

    Once those tasks are done, I'll move on to others. I've gotten much better about focusing only on my goals; and ignoring all the emails and messages we get all day.
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  • Profile picture of the author shireen
    Hi:

    Shireen here :-)

    I work 90% from home, but sometimes I do work in starbucks if I feel a bit hot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Major Success
    I have a home office and Internet Marketing is my life!
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  • Profile picture of the author writeandreview
    I write a lot and do my best work in the tranquility (or agony) of solitude.

    When I can't be alone, ear phones and a white noise .mp3 loop work great.

    Rockstar energy, the big one, revs my engine back up at 3pm. (Just in time to shuttle kids to bball practice, soccer practice, dance practice, track practice.)
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Avoiding caffeine in the mornings can actually be a big help. If you drink a lot of coffee try cutting back. I find that I work best if I only allow myself one cup in the morning to get me started. Then when I start to slump off mid-afternoon I allow myself a pick-me-up of a cup of coffee or other caffeinated drink. It gives me that extra boost to keep going. This isn't as effective if you drink a lot of caffeine already though.
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  • Profile picture of the author kbgold
    I have two kids and also have a full-time professional career on top of my passion for my online business.

    I find every chance to get online to communicate with others and also manage my schedules to meet physically with potential partners.

    Time management is key!
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  • Profile picture of the author davidfstyles
    Personally I find doing the 50-10-50-30 minute routine works best for me. I just work for 50 minutes, take a break for 10, work for 50, rest for 30. Repeat. I learnt this from Eban Pagan and whenever I need to get stuff done it works awesomely.

    Hope that helps,

    David.
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  • Profile picture of the author bluechillisa
    I also work from home and I think the best thing to do is to have a office that has a door that you can close. This will help you to feel more like you in a work environment and increase your concentration when it come to knuckling down and putting in those hours.
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  • Profile picture of the author Coach Louisa
    I work from home. I think it is a matter of "how" I work more than where I work. For me the criteria is to find a comfortable place that I can focus, a block of time away from distraction - no TV, no disturbance from family members (behind doors).

    Then it is the discipline of having a schedule and a plan and sticking to it. Often it is easy to be too flexible and not stick to the plan -> therefore not being able to work on or complete the work I set out to do.

    Getting enough rest is also important. Sometimes we push ourselves too hard when we work from home.

    To come back to your question, I like to change things around. Sometimes I work in the study room, sometimes in the living room, sometimes I rent an office space, sometimes I work in the open park or cafe - it depends on the type of work.

    Hope this helps
    Louisa
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