Home for me used to be either my dorm, or more recently my family’s kitchen.  However, since graduation and moving back home, I have needed to redefine what it means to “work” at home.  Our family recently adopted a new dog who adores people, and he can be really hard to resist when he is sitting there looking for attention.  How can you deny this face?

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There are also a million other distractions at home, like watching the mail truck go by and hoping for some good news from an application or even just popping on the TV to help pass time while doing research.  I also have the distraction of all my game systems sitting in plain sight calling my name to forget the worries of a job search and enjoy the moment.  In the past two weeks however, I have been trying to get out of the house, and let me explain how that has helped.

#1: Hey can you take care of…

While this may seem like common sense, the looming possibility of needing to mow the lawn, do some heavy lifting, or even vacuum a room quickly just disappear when you get out of the house.   You are able to set budget time more wisely since you now have to plan when you will be home and when you will be working.  No more procrastinating on doing that next job application or researching your next client since you are killing just five more minutes on FaceBook before taking care of the lawn or someone asking you to take care of something quick for them.  Not that taking care of things for your family isn’t important; but the constant breaks will gnaw away at what motivation and drive you had to get something done.

#2:  Mindset is everything

Home is where you are able to best relax.  That is much more difficult to do when you mix what it means to work and what it means to relax in the same place.  Much like turning a bedroom into a playroom, your head gets confused as to what it’s supposed to be doing.  Nagging thoughts of what you didn’t get done that day can haunt you at home if you work from there, and the yearning for breaks will increase.  Changing to a different location allows your head to fully clear and move from a productivity mindset to a relaxed mindset.

#3:  The setup will precede the utility

Another temptation while working from home is to make the “perfect workstation.”  This includes the comfiest chair, the best deck, the ideal lighting, and the list goes on.  Instead of focusing on getting work done, the focus becomes what is the best way I can work.  More effort goes into how to maximize potential productivity than actually increasing productivity.

 

Finding where that new workplace is will differ for everyone.  I found two places that work well for me; the public library and one of the coffee houses near home.  If I could afford to go to the coffee house every day I would, but in finding work, money supply isn’t necessarily unlimited.  Both the library and the coffee house offer free Wi-Fi, and it is motivating noticing that other people around you are working.  It makes it much easier to stay on task, as well as make it feel like you were productive that day.

 

What are some of your favorite places to work outside the house?  Or are you someone that found a way to beat the odds and can actually work at home?  Comment and share so others can gain insight and ideas to help their productivity.

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