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It's officially been one month since I've been self-employed and working from home. I don't really have a home office. I just sit at a desk in my bedroom. For anyone considering working from home or just contemplating their personal productivity, here are some lessons I learned over the past month.
  • Write one thing: Each day I recommend writing down one thing that if you accomplished it would make your day a success. This should be connected to your overall business priorities in some way. Make sure it follows the SMART goals methodology.

  • Plan your day: I created these two simple tools to help me plan my day, week, and month. One is just a weekly time grid and the other one is a personal planning chart.

  • Make time to eat: It's easy to get sucked into work and not eat all day. When I do that, it usually because I'm feeling unproductive and thus guilty or superproductive and in the zone. Perhaps your daily walk should be to the grocery store to get fresh fruits and veggies.

  • People are important: One thing that an office provides is an opportunity to be with other people. Working from home can be lonely. A good solution is to arrange dinners with friends who have 9-to-5 jobs. I would avoid lunch engagements because it may take you out of your flow if it too far away.

  • Set office hours: Since my bedroom and office are one in the same, I never know when to stop working. Though you have pushed against 9-to-5 culture, I think it's a good idea to set office hours based on when your productivity is highest. If you can separate your bedroom and office, even better.

  • Get outside: Since there is no transportation to work besides rolling out of bed, I recommend scheduling a walk, run, or workout during the day to get some fresh air.

  • Count your minutes: All of sudden your cell phone becomes your office phone so watch your cell phone minutes and make sure that you don't go over. You may want to consider using Skype for outgoing calls or upgrade your cell phone plan.

  • Get a printer/fax/scan/copy: It's important to be able to print things on the spot. I took the printer at my employer's office for granted. The last thing you want to have to do is run to Kinko's across town once a day. A good printer and ink cartridges may run $150.

  • Write your distractions: Oftentimes we justify our distractions as doing tangential work and then at the end of the day we only end up working 3 hours in an 8 hour day. Write your distractions on the wall so that you know when you're being distracted. Some of mine are sorting stray paper, unwashed clothes, the refrigerator, and Facebook.

  • Get dressed (from Paul C.): My friend Paul read this posts and recommends that you get dressed like you're going to work. You may even want to take a walk around the block like you're in transit to work to change your mindset about your environment especially if your office is in your bedroom.

That's all for now. I hope this helps. If I think of some more I'll let you know.

Feel free to add more ideas below.


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Jullien's Purpose Statement

My purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own. I want to do this through writing, speaking, and creating offline and online spaces that facilitate conversations around purpose.

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